Christian Liberty downs Schaumburg Christian in regional semifinal
There is always potential danger when you have defeated an opponent twice during the regular season, then face them in the state tournament.
The top-seeded Christian Liberty girls basketball team made sure early that there would be no upset in the semifinal of the Class 1A girls basketball regional hosted by Christian Liberty.
The host Chargers broke out to an 18-10 lead over Schaumburg Christian at the end of the first quarter and went on to a 62-41 over the Conquerors.
Christian Liberty now owns a 26 game win streak and a 27-3 overall record. The Chargers will face Ida Crown Thursday at 7 p.m. for the regional title.
Junior Megan Ng, who finished with 15 points and 6 assists, scored nine of her points in the first quarter to ignite the Chargers.
"Our coach (Steve Rowland) tells us the game you are playing is what's most important," said Ng. "He has instilled that mindset in us and it has really helped. Tonight we were able to get out of the gate and were able to set the pace."
The Chargers' defense, led by Ng and Melissa Castro, was able to put the clamps on the high-scoring Summer Reid. Reid, who scored 42 points the night before against Rochelle Zell, scored 19 points Tuesday but was limited to just 4 points in the first half. Reid led her team in rebounds with seven.
"We did a good job defending her," said Ng. "Melissa really helped on the double teams."
Reid, a sophomore, showed tenacity the whole game.
"I think she'll be a real good player for us," said her coach and father Learon Reid. "It's been mostly the five girls that played tonight for us this season. They never quit."
Senior Courtney Campbell backed up Reid with 14 points and 5 rebounds for Schaumburg Christian, which finished 8-14 for the season.
Castro led the Eagles with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Julia Wolke added 12 points of which 10 came in the first half to go with 10 rebounds. Audrey Law added 8 points and 5 rebounds.
"Julia's 5-foot 2 in heels," said Rowland, "and she's our second leading rebounder. Megan does so much on the court to get us going. What makes this team so good is that they focus on the game they are about to play. They have done a good job doing that. The balance is there. This teams knows what each other is thinking on the floor. Tonight was no different."
Cathy Jankovic's basket pulled Schaumburg Christian to within 11-10 with a minute left in the first quarter.
A 3-pointer by Wolke, a basket by Hannah Mindak (6 points) and layup by Ng with four seconds left gave the Chargers a 18-10 lead.
Christian Liberty then went on a 12-2 run to start the second quarter for a 30-12 lead with 4:35 left in the first half. By halftime CLA led 36-16.
"We were excited to win this one and get back to the championship game Thursday," Wolke. "We lost in the championship last year. We have so many different players who can, score, shoot, rebound and run the floor. We have good balance and we're hungry for more this year."