Ware, Stevenson wear down Lake Park

  • Stevenson's Simone Sawyer, left, moves the ball past Lake Park's Darrione Rogers in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Simone Sawyer, left, moves the ball past Lake Park's Darrione Rogers in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Ava Bardic sets up an outside shot against Lake Park's in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Ava Bardic sets up an outside shot against Lake Park's in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Nikki Kolz, right, battles Lake Park's Eleanor Helm for the ball in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Nikki Kolz, right, battles Lake Park's Eleanor Helm for the ball in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Ava Bardic drives against Lake Park in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Ava Bardic drives against Lake Park in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Simone Sawyer, left, guards Lake Park's Sara Balli in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Simone Sawyer, left, guards Lake Park's Sara Balli in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Park's Emma Thorne heads to the hoop past Stevenson's Nikki Kolz in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Lake Park's Emma Thorne heads to the hoop past Stevenson's Nikki Kolz in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Nikki Ware, right, guards Lake Park's Gabrielle Burgess in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Nikki Ware, right, guards Lake Park's Gabrielle Burgess in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Nikki Kolz, left, and Simone Sawyer, right, guard Lake Park's Emma Thorne in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Nikki Kolz, left, and Simone Sawyer, right, guard Lake Park's Emma Thorne in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Park's Sara Balli grabs a rebound in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Lake Park's Sara Balli grabs a rebound in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Park's Darrione Rogers moves with the ball against Stevenson in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Lake Park's Darrione Rogers moves with the ball against Stevenson in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Simone Sawyer, left, guards Lake Park's Darrione Rogers in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Simone Sawyer, left, guards Lake Park's Darrione Rogers in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Lake Park's Gabrielle Burgess takes an outside shot against Stevenson in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Lake Park's Gabrielle Burgess takes an outside shot against Stevenson in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Simone Sawyer grabs a rebound against Lake Park in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday.

      Stevenson's Simone Sawyer grabs a rebound against Lake Park in the third place game of the Komaromy Holiday Classic at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville Monday. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/30/2019 10:33 PM

A college basketball coach from a prestigious university watched Monday night's third-place girls game at Dundee-Crown.

And, yes, another one -- DePaul coach Doug Bruno -- was there too to watch his future Blue Demon, Lake Park senior guard Darrione Rogers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Afterward, Stevenson junior point guard Nikki Ware, much shorter than the 5-foot-11 Rogers and not quite as big of a recruit, was talking to a coach from Ivy League member Cornell University.

"Who wouldn't want her?" Stevenson assistant coach Tom Kelly said of the 5-5 Ware, a varsity player since her freshman year. "She's a great student (straight A's), good leader."

Clutch player, too.

Ware buried back-to-back 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter against Lake Park, sending Stevenson on its way to a 60-52 win in the two teams' finale of the 37th annual Komaromy Classic in Carpentersville.

"She's fearless," Kelly, who was filling in for head coach Ashley Graham (family commitment), said of Ware. "She's so short. She's always the shortest one (on the court)."

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Rogers didn't have her best shooting night (7 of 27, including 2 of 12 from the arc) but still poured in 31 points to easily lead all scorers and grabbed 9 rebounds. While Lake Park (10-4, 2-2 tournament) received only 21 points from its other players, Stevenson (12-5, 3-1 tourney) got 13 points apiece from Ware, Simone Sawyer and Ava Bardic (4 assists, 3 steals). Lydia Lueck added a season-high 10 points coming off the bench, and Avery King had 9. Ware hit three of the Patriots' nine 3-pointers.

"You're going to give up points to a team like that, that spreads you out," Lake Park coach Brian Rupp said. "I don't think defensive effort was an issue or problem or anything like that. I think it was that they made some pretty key shots in pretty key moments. We couldn't adjust."

Four Stevenson players, led by Ware (8 points), scored in the final quarter, as the Patriots outscored the Lancers 23-16 after leading only 37-36 after three.

"It was very difficult because all five (Stevenson) girls out there can score the ball," Rogers said. "Credit to them. They hit big shots when they needed. Overall, I thought our defense was way better than it was against Maine South (54-39 semifinal loss). But we still could improve on how we guarded the ball in the fourth quarter."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Ware went to bench after picking up 2 fouls in the first three minutes of the game, but Kelly put her back in the game late in the first quarter.

"Because I have confidence in her," Kelly said. "She's a veteran now. She knows how to play with fouls. And we need her on the floor -- her leadership, her toughness, her shooting."

A drive by Rogers gave Lake Park a 38-37 lead early in the fourth, but then Ware knocked down her pair of 3s 72 seconds apart.

"Our team was moving the ball really well," Ware said. "We hit a stride and I just thought, 'Shoot when you can shoot,' and it worked out for us in the end."

Ware appreciated the lift her classmate and teammate Lueck provided early in the game. Lueck (4-of-4 shooting) scored 7 points in the opening quarter and drained her second 3-pointer in the second quarter.

"Awesome, awesome player," a beaming Ware said. "She works her butt off. One of the hardest workers on the team. I'm so glad that she got a chance tonight to show what she can do."

Sara Balli added 8 points and 9 rebounds for Lake Park.

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