2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/13/2018 8:49 PM

Bartlett pushes Lincoln-Way East to the limit

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By Ken Tillotson
Daily Herald Correspondent

DeKALB -- The Bartlett girls basketball team gave one-loss Lincoln-Way East all it could handle, but couldn't quite finish the job.

The Hawks carried a 46-39 lead into the fourth quarter, but the experienced Griffins showed their mettle down the stretch. They finished with a 10-2 run in the final two minutes to secure a hard-fought 65-58 victory in Saturday night's quarterfinal of the 5th annual DeKalb MLK Classic.

Lincoln Way East (20-1), which had five players score in double figures, hit 14 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Bartlett senior guard Kayla Hare poured in a game-high 22 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, while Teegan Noesen and freshman Lexie Sinclair finished with 12 points each for the Hawks.

"We had a state-ranked team on the ropes and I think we showed that we have some young girls who made some mistakes. They're a senior-laden team and well polished and a great coach and that ended up being the difference in the fourth quarter," said Bartlett coach Brad Hunt.

"They were very composed in the fourth quarter and they knew what they were doing offensively," added Hare, who tallied 29 points in a victory over Johnsburg earlier in the day. "They're a very good team, but we played with a lot of energy and if we keep doing that we'll be OK."

The Griffins led 25-23 at halftime despite getting in foul trouble, but Bartlett (10-8) came out on fire in the third quarter and connected on all five 3-point attempts in a 23-point outburst.

Noesen, Sinclair and Hare hit 3 trifectas in a row to give the Hawks a 37-32 advantage, then Hare dropped in another 3-pointer from the top to cap a 7-point run and extend their advantage to 44-34 with 1:56 left in the third quarter.

"Everyone on the team was doing their jobs and we were hitting open 3s," Hare said.

Lincoln-Way East chipped away and regained a 53-52 lead with 3:29 left. Sinclair tied the game at 55-55 with a pair of free throws, but Kaley Sheehan drilled a 3-pointer from the corner at the 1-minute mark and the Griffins sealed the win by hitting 7-of-8 free throws from there.

"I kept telling our girls we needed to get to the line. We had them in the one-and-one the entire fourth quarter but didn't get there," Hunt said. "Give them credit and we're going to learn from this. We have a lot of young babies who are going to be really good.

"We just put in a new offense a week ago and it looked really good then it stalled a little bit. But I'm ecstatic for today and where we're going and from where we came from."

Savannah Standifer added 6 points, Shelly Banks had 5 and Danielle Kleeman grabbed 8 rebounds for Bartlett, which will play in the fifth-place bracket at 3 p.m. Monday. Carolyn Waleski went 8-for-8 from the line in a team-high 14-point effort for the Griffins while Sheehan and Katchie Savic collected 12 points each.

Hunt had nothing but superlatives for Hare, who along with Kleeman, are the team's only senior starters.

"Kayla is special. Twenty-nine points in the first game and 22 in this one. If she's not all-state then I dont't know who should be," Hunt said.

Bartlett 73, Johnsburg 56: The Hawks opened the tournament with a win over Johnsburg behind 29 points from Kayla Hare. Lexie Sinclair and Shelly Banks scored 12 each.

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