South Elgin tops Streamwood for 6th straight win
South Elgin led Streamwood by 20 points at halftime and ended up beating the Sabres by 20, but that didn't tell the whole story of their Upstate Eight Conference win Thursday night.
The short-handed Sabres, missing three regulars and then losing Riya Patel to a first-half injury, rallied from a 38-18 halftime deficit to within 43-38 when Peyton Hedger opened the fourth quarter with a 3-point basket.
But South Elgin was able to put an end to the comeback, starting with a pair of free throws from Casey Brennan followed by a drive from Aryanna Williams and then a basket by Megan McClure. The Storm's 18-1 run restored command of the game and eventually the 20-point lead in a 61-41 victory.
"We were able to stay together as a team and pull it together and work hard and make sure we don't force anything and have silly turnovers," McClure said. "And we stopped fouling in the fourth quarter so that helped."
Free throws did help Streamwood (1-7, 0-3) in its third quarter comeback accounting for 12 of 17 points.
In the fourth quarter the Storm (6-3, 4-0) sent the Sabres to the line just twice as they picked up their sixth straight win and stayed unbeaten in conference.
"We've been working so hard in practice so it's showing us when we work hard it pays off," McClure said.
McClure continued her hot start to the season with 22 points. She also had 7 steals and 6 assists.
McClure scored the first five points for the Storm and had 8 in the first quarter as South Elgin built a 16-6 lead.
The Storm took their biggest lead of the first half at 38-17 on Ella Winterhalder's 3-pointer.
"We told them before the game you have to fight really hard to keep that good feeling, to keep the smiles in the locker room," South Elgin coach Dan Mandernack said.
Mandy Mien started Streamwood's third quarter rally with a basket and then made 2 free throws. Hedger hit a 3 to pull within 38-26 before 6 free throws from Vivian Sumoski made it a 41-33 game. Alexis Rojas sank two more at the line to bring Streamwood within 41-35.
"Good comeback, excellent comeback," Streamwood coach George Rosner said. "Probably the best basketball we've played in awhile. Played disciplined. That was an outstanding comeback. Lots of positives."
Mandernack also was impressed with Streamwood's charge while crediting his girls for their composure in the fourth quarter. Brennan added 12 points.
"Defense travels and the way we came out flying, sense of urgency, wanting to get our sixth in a row, wanting to get to 4-0 in conference, we let it go up in smoke (in the third quarter)," Mandernack said. "Credit to our girls, they stayed calm. Just like the season, there's going to be ups and downs, it's how you handle things. We stayed together, played with a lot of heart and passion, and everything will turn out OK. We're starting to have an identity."
South Elgin will go for its seventh straight win Saturday at Schaumburg while the Sabres are off until playing at Elgin next Tuesday. Sumoski and Mien led the Sabres Thursday with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
"She (Mien) makes things happen for us, gets people good looks," Rosner said. "And Vivian had a great game. She doesn't play like a sophomore."