Downers Grove North can't dig itself out of hole
Downers Grove North senior Jalyn Harris displayed the kind of basketball offense in the second quarter Friday that earned her all-tournament honors at last year's Wheaton North Bill Neibch Falcon Classic.
By that time the Trojans had dug themselves quite a hole.
The Trojans lost to Glenbrook South 44-32 in the Falcon Classic semifinals after spotting the Titans an 11-0 advantage but then getting as close as 32-27 with 6:12 left.
"We came out flat. I feel like they had more energy than us," said Harris, who will play NCAA Division II basketball next season at Emporia State in Kansas.
"They're a good team and they're a very high-IQ basketball team. We didn't come out as hard as we usually do defensively. We came out flat offensively so that kind of shuts us down."
Downers North (11-5), the No. 3 seed, will play for third place at 6 p.m. Saturday against top-seeded Wheaton North (12-1), which lost 78-70 in overtime to No. 4 Bartlett. The Trojans lost to Wheaton North in last year's third-place game.
Harris led the Trojans with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ellie Gross and Lauren Sebek each had 6 points with Gross adding 5 rebounds.
A strong possession-style team, No. 2-seed Glenbrook South (13-3) was 17-for-28 shooting behind a 10-for-15 effort in the first half with two of its three 3s.
Downers North actually finished 12-for-38 shooting after missing its first 13 field-goal attempts and first two free throws.
"We've got to finish. We've not been doing well early on. And it's layups more than even like jumpers and good opportunities," Downers North coach Stephan Bolt said.
"You can't do that against a good team, spot them 10 points and then fight your way back the entire way. They're a good team. They executed well down the stretch."
Behind Harris' 8 points in the second quarter, the Trojans nearly rallied. They came within 6 points twice, but the Titans answered with two driving baskets in the final 1:18 for a 24-14 halftime lead.
The Trojans' only 3, by Sebek, cut the deficit to 29-23 entering the fourth quarter, and Gross hit a bank shot and two free throws to close to 32-27. But on the Titans' ensuing possession, Johns Hopkins recruit Kristin Ralston hit a turnaround from right of the lane and Makayla Stadler followed with a steal and basket for a 36-27 margin.
The Trojans' Alexis Parker drove the lane and scored to cut the deficit to 7 with 4:11 left, but the gap never became closer.
"We did come back a little bit," Harris said. "It was basically we would score and they would come back and score. We just weren't there defensively as we usually are."
The Titans were led by Libbie Vanderveen's 13 points, followed by Stadler with 12 and Ralston with 10. Glenbrook South, which started four seniors in what is longtime coach Steve Weissenstein's final season before retiring, entered the tournament coming off losses to New Trier and Fenwick by a combined 3 points.
Just like the third-place game between Downers North and Wheaton North, Glenbrook South and Bartlett also will have a final-round rematch. The Titans won last year's game for fifth place.
"I feel like this is a really good tournament," Harris said. "Third place, first place, we always come out to get a win and work together as a team, regardless of what place it is. We're a very tight team so we all look for each other."