Glenbard West advances in Grow the Game Tournament
There was good news and scary news for Glenbard West on Thursday night at the inaugural Grow the Game Tournament.
First the good news.
The host Hilltoppers held off Trinity for a 52-51 girls basketball victory that sends the Hilltoppers into a 7:30 p.m. Friday semifinal on their home court.
"It feels awesome, especially the first year this tournament has gone on," Glenbard West junior guard Maggie Stutelberg said. "It feels so good. I'm excited."
The scary news? The Hilltoppers will play powerful Whitney Young in that semifinal.
"We had a great crowd here and a really good showing for the first night," said Glenbard West coach Kristi Faulkner of the tournament for teams coached by women and refereed mostly by women.
"It's really fun to be able to host this event. Every team in this tournament is a great team and we have a lot of respect for each of the teams. It's good to get a win and we have a tough game tomorrow, but we'll look at some tape tonight and try and get ready."
Through the first few minutes Thursday it seemed the Hilltoppers were destined for the consolation bracket. Trinity (8-8) scored the game's first nine points, but Glenbard West (9-4) caught up quickly, cutting the Blazers' lead to 11-9 by the end of the quarter. They took the lead to start the second quarter on a Stutelberg 3-point shot, one of four she made in the first half.
Faulkner attributed the slow start to the team's 10-day layoff.
"A little rusty, a little nerves, being back on the court. But I was proud of our team that we stayed together. We stayed positive and we tried to chip away," she said.
Trinity caught up again in the fourth quarter, when the teams traded the lead a couple of times. The Blazers led 52-41 with 2:51 to go when the Hilltoppers went on a 9-0 run to build their biggest lead of the game, 50-42, on a pair of Emma Hall free throws with 1:29 left.
"We were trying to get it into (senior post Taylor Huff) and Taylor did some good things," Faulkner said. "And Maggie too, she was really aggressive. Kind of mixing it up offensively. I think Addison Yeager did a great job on the boards. She got a ton of rebounds."
Then Trinity started a run of its own, cutting the lead to 1. A last-second shot from well beyond the 3-point arc missed, however.
"I feel like our team, we still felt strong through it. Just finish strong, finish strong. But yeah, the end kind of got scary," Stutelberg said.
"We always talk about the ebb and flow of the basketball game and that's what it was tonight," Faulkner added. "But we stuck with it and it was a nail-biter and it was good to come out with a win."
Huff led the Hilltoppers with 22 points and 6 rebounds, and Stutelberg added 21 points and 7 rebounds. Yeager grabbed 9 rebounds to go with her 4 points.
Makiyah Williams scored 26 for Trinity, and Madeline Miller added 16.