Deerfield routs Prairie Ridge
Prairie Ridge players gathered near the visitor's bench and wiped away tears as Deerfield celebrated a 68-36 win Tuesday in a Class 3A Grayslake Central girls basketball sectional semifinal.
The third-seeded Wolves, who secured their first regional title since 2014 a few days earlier in the same gym, saw their remarkable season come to an end. For those who had just played their final high school game together, it was especially bittersweet.
Second-seeded Deerfield (26-5) moves on to meet top-seeded Carmel, a 49-43 winner against No. 4-seeded St. Viator in the night's first semifinal, in the championship at 7 p.m. Thursday.
After scoring the game's first five points Tuesday, Prairie Ridge was unable to keep up with a talented and young Warriors group averaging 63 points a game. Deerfield led, 19-9, after the first quarter and 27-15 at halftime.
Prairie Ridge cut Deerfield's lead to 30-23 with about five minutes left in the third quarter but the Warriors responded by scoring the game's next 20 points. Freshman guard Aubrey Galvan had a game-high 20 and made five 3s, while junior Lexi Kerstein had 14 points and sophomore Kate Trella added nine.
Deerfield, the Central Suburban League Conference champion, has now eliminated three Fox Valley Conference teams (Crystal Lake South, Crystal Lake Central and Prairie Ridge) from the postseason.
Prairie Ridge senior starter Karsen Karlblom, the program's all-time leading scorer and 3-point shooter, ended her four-year varsity career on Tuesday with a team-high 13 points, five steals and three assists.