Stevenson nails down third place at Dundee-Crown

By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/29/2016 9:50 PM

Disappointed by a semifinal loss to Naperville Central Wednesday night at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic, Stevenson girls basketball coach Ashley Graham wasn't sure how her Patriots would perform in Thursday's third place game against Hampshire.

Graham didn't needed to worry.

Spearheaded by 18 points from Ashley Richardson, who played all 32 minutes, the Patriots garnered third place honors with a 41-29 win over the Whip-Purs.

"The kids rebounded nicely from a tough loss last night," said Graham. "Four games in four days is a lot of basketball and we looked tired at times."

Richardson, who connected on 5-of-8 shots from the floor, sealed the win for Stevenson (12-3) by burying 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the last minute.

"We had the mindset that we wanted to forget about last night and just focus on winning the third place game," said Richardson, "Hampshire really guarded me closely and it was tough to get shots."

Stevenson's defense totally stifled Hampshire in the first half, holding the Whip-Purs to 2 baskets and 5 points.

With Richardson and Klaire Steffens both scoring 7 points, the Patriots held a 19-5 lead at halftime.

The Whip-Purs (8-5) regrouped at intermission and scored the first 8 points of the third quarter, 6 by Meagan Heine and a basket from Rachel Dumoulin to slice the Patriot lead to 19-13 with 4:59 left in the quarter.

Stevenson's first basket of the second half came on a layup from Kiana Cencula with 4:11 left which gave the Pats a 21-13 lead.

The Pats' biggest lead of the game was 15, 35-20, after a trey by Steffens with 2:46 left.

Hampshire didn't quit and responded with a 7-0 run keyed by a trey from Lauren Hermann with 1:36 left to pull the Whip-Purs within 7, 35-27, with 1:36 left in the contest.

Hampshire couldn't get any closer as Richardson made 6-of-6 from the free-throw line to ensure the win for the Patriots.

Steffens backed Richardson with 12 points for the winners.

Dumoulin paced the Whip-Purs with 12 while Heine scored 9, all in the second half.

"We had a lot of good looks in the first half and we had a lot of shots go in and out," said Hampshire coach Mike Featherly. "We came out and played very well to start the third quarter and then ran out of gas. Playing four games in four days against this kind of competition will wear you out."

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