Round Lake dumps North Chicago to move to 3-0
Off to a great start to the season, Round Lake's girls basketball team made it three in a row with a balanced effort for a third straight game.
Diane Flade and Taylor Major each dropped in 13 points and Emily Etherington added 11 for the Panthers. as Round Lake defeated North Chicago 59-30 in the third game of pool play at the Maine East Girls Thanksgiving Tournament in Park Ridge on Saturday.
The Panthers (3-0) have defeated Metea Valley, host Maine East and now North Chicago. They will next play in the championship game against Zion-Benton (3-0) on Monday at 7:30 p.m. back at Maine East High School. The Zee-Bees have wins over Deerfield, Glenbrook North and Riverside-Brookfield.
"I like how the girls have come together," Round Lake coach Molly Hennig said. "That's the big thing. With six seniors that have played together for a long time along with the underclassmen have jelled well together with them. We're excited and its something to build on with a Thanksgiving tournament."
On Saturday, the Panthers were in a battle early on with the Warhawks until the latter portion of the first quarter. Round Lake held a 5-4 advantage until it went on an 11-1 run that closed the opening quarter. Coming off the bench, Giselle Raygoza (7 points) capped the run with a 3-pointer for a 16-5 lead.
North Chicago (0-3) chipped back into the game with Zaria Buckhalter (game-high 16 points) knocking down a pair off 3-point baskets, which brought the Warhawks to within 16-12 with 5:07 let in the second quarter.
The Panthers responded with a run of their own with 10 unanswered points that included Etherington hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for a 26-12 lead at the break.
"Initially, we were supposed to run a different play," said Etherington on the final play in the last four seconds. "But it kind of got jumbled up. So, the ball came in and I realized there was enough time. I threw the ball up there and it went in. It was pretty exciting, because when you shoot a normal shot, it's like now I have to play defense. When the clock is winding down, you have to find somebody open or take the shot yourself. When it goes in, more than half the time your amazed."
Round Lake went on from there to hold on to its lead into the third quarter and led North Chicago 40-24 and extended its lead further into the final quarter.
"We're just a lot closer," said Flade, one of the seniors with all the success beginning the season. "The team has really grown this year. The way we pass with one another and how we acknowledge to each other. Also, our defense is really good."
The Panthers also had Amari Cole contribute off the bench with 9 points and 7 rebounds, while Samantha Nicoline pulled down 7 boards of her own.