Bartlett survives Glenbard South despite shaky final minute
Bartlett's girls basketball team nearly snatched a defeat out of the hands of victory Tuesday night.
Despite misfiring on 7 of 8 free throws over the final 57 seconds, the Hawks (6-2, 3-0) escaped with a 46-43 Upstate Eight Conference triumph over Glenbard South (3-3, 1-2) in Bartlett.
"We might shoot a few," Hawks coach Brad Hunt said when asked about his team's late foul shooting woes. "That's why I have no hair. We didn't hit enough free throws down the stretch but we held on."
Trailing 34-33 after 3 quarters, the Hawks finally created some separation thanks to an 11-2 run over the next 5 ½ minutes.
Freshman Mackenzie Hare (11 points, 5 rebounds) canned a 3-pointer from the corner just 9 seconds into the fourth quarter to put the Hawks on top to stay at 36-34.
"We hit 'Mac' and like a freshman who acts like a senior sometimes she knocked it down and we sprung forward," said Hunt.
After the Hawks' Savannah Standefer and the Raiders' Maggie Bair traded baskets, Hare converted an acrobatic 3-point play to make it 41-36.
Three straight points from sophomore guard Lexi Sinclair extended the Hawks' advantage to 44-36 with 2:27 remaining -- their largest lead of the night.
"We paid attention to detail a lot today," said Sinclair, who finished with a team-high 17 points. "We focused a lot on defense and that helped create our offense."
Bartlett still led 46-40 after Sinclair split a pair of free throws with 45 seconds left.
Bair, the Raiders' 6-foot-2 senior center, answered with a 3-point play to trim the deficit to 46-43 with 25 seconds remaining but her potential game-tying 3-point attempt rimmed out in the final seconds.
"It was a contested three and it was a step-back three and not a rhythm three," said Hunt. "I was OK with it."
Bair led the Raiders with 18 points, 17 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 3 steals while playing the entire game.
"I was happy with our defensive game plan today," said Hunt. "We 'held' one of the best players in our conference to 18 (points) but it was never a dominant 18 (points)."
"Bair is a really good player and in the past, we've struggled (with post players) because we're a smaller team," said Sinclair. "Today, we did a good job of containing her and making sure she didn't go off on us.
"We were help-one as soon as she got the ball."
Sophomore Justina Hernandez added 9 points and 5 rebounds for the Hawks.
"It's absolutely a nice win for us," said Hunt. "We play 18 conference games so it's a long road and a long grind. I doubt anybody goes through this conference schedule undefeated. There are too many good teams."
Sophomore guard Lauren Cohen finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds for the Raiders.
"We missed a lot of easy baskets," said Raiders coach Morgan Kasperek. "Give Bartlett all the credit in the world -- they put physical pressure on us and it threw us off.
"The effort is there. These are two good basketball teams. It'll be good to play them again."