Glenbard West ekes out win vs. York
It seems momentum can swing in a New York minute in high school basketball.
For better than three quarters Tuesday in its showdown with Glenbard West, the York girls basketball team was in control. It looked like the Dukes might just run away with a relatively easy win.
But looks can be deceiving, and momentum can be a pain if you're on the wrong end of it.
The Hilltoppers got a big 3-pointer from sophomore Maggie Stutelberg with 3:23 left in the contest that was part of an 11-0 run, while senior captain Katelyn Heller scored her team's last 8 points -- 6 via free throw -- to prevail 44-41.
"I think we just kept going hard, and Maggie hit that 3-pointer, that was huge and that turned us around and got me hyped," said Heller, who finished with 12 points. "That's what gets me so motivated, so knowing that we're in bonus, double-bonus, and just knowing if you can get them to foul you, you're just to make the free throws and finish that."
But there was a supreme defensive effort as well. The Hilltoppers held the Dukes without a field goal in the fourth quarter, and York went 7 of 10 from the line in the period.
Any combination of field goals or free throws that equaled 4 points could have given York the victory, a fact not lost on coach Brandon Collings.
"We played a great three-and-a-half quarters," said Collings, whose team fell to 13-7 and 4-3 in the West Suburban Silver. "We had four or five good looks between four minutes, 30 seconds to about two minutes, 30 seconds. We missed easy looks around the basket.
"We make two of those, it's our game."
After Stutelberg's 3 and an empty York possession, Heller hit on a layup from junior center Taylor Huff that tied the scored at 38-38. From there it became a war from the free-throw line, one that Glenbard West won 6-3, but look deeper.
The Dukes committed a big turnover with 1:05 left in an unsuccessful bid to break Glenbard West's press. That led to a pair of Heller free throws.
With 50.1 seconds York turned the ball over again on an inbound against the press, which led to another Heller free throw.
York struck back with a pair of free throws from junior Sara Krissinger, and then Glenbard West made a key turnover with 26 seconds while bringing the ball up. However, York could only manage one of two free throws.
Heller sealed the win with a pair with 23.1 left, but the drama was far from over -- York junior Carley Schwartz just missed a 3 attempt that resulted in a jump ball that ended up with Glenbard West. Heller dribbled out the final few seconds.
"This is a really big step toward winning conference, especially since this is home for (York)," said Huff, who led all scorers with 13 points despite being ill.
Huff also grabbed 7 rebounds. Heller had 9.
Keep your eye on three York sophomores who were big contributors. Sydney Molis led the Dukes with 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, while Kaitlyn Kjome had 11 points and 3 rebounds. Megan Juneman scored a pair off the bench.