Freshman leads Glenbard North into next round
Glenbard North girls basketball coach John Chamberlain said it was a "survive and advance" performance in the Class 4A St. Charles North regional quarterfinal on Monday night.
The Panthers defeated Fenton 40-26 after making up a slow start with defense and a nice shooting performance from freshman guard Leah Miller.
"It was a little ugly at times, but I thought we definitely won that game with our defense," Chamberlain said. "I thought Zakiya (Newsome) out front was really tough and created a lot of opportunities for teammates to get steals."
Behind a bucket from Dana Fritz and the Bison's lone 3-pointer from Courtney Susmarski, Fenton got out to a 5-0 lead on Glenbard North.
As the quarter went on Glenbard North got a pair of baskets, and with about a minute left Miller hit her first of four 3-pointers of the night, giving the Panthers a 7-5 lead.
The Panthers (11-14) did not give up the lead for the rest of the night. It was the second quarter when the Panthers really pulled ahead.
After getting fouled on its previous two attempts early in the second, Fenton registered just 1 field-goal attempt in the entire quarter.
The Bison (6-21) were held to just 4 points, with 7 turnovers in the second period, while Miller and Newsome combined for 14 points in the first half to lead the Panthers into halftime up 20-11.
"We struggled to get into anything and we had trouble with their pressure, as you could see," Fenton coach Tim Anderson said. "We didn't make the adjustments that we needed to do to be able to do that … . They gave us the chance to hang in there, we just couldn't get anything going."
Fenton actually had two open chances to cut the lead to 5 points early in the third quarter but couldn't convert and let Glenbard North and Newsome continue their high-pressure defense.
Miller -- who was pulled up to varsity halfway through the season -- kept shooting in her first playoff game, hitting two more 3-pointers in the second half, tallying 15 points on the night.
"I just got on the team recently, so it was good to see us all working together and our coachers were telling us what we needed to do…," Miller said. "I felt very comfortable tonight. Usually I don't make that many 3s, so I felt really comfortable."
Despite Fritz's best effort the Bison were outscored 20-15 in the second half. The senior had a team-high 14 points in her final game for Fenton.
Glenbard North will play St. Charles East at 6 p.m., Wednesday in the regional semifinal.