Downers Grove North knocks off Oak Park-River Forest
Downers Grove North earned itself another girls basketball practice. And that's just fine with the Trojans.
"It feels really good because the seniors have done a lot for the team and the more we can spend with each other is always good," Trojans sophomore guard Ella Sebek said.
The No. 2 seed Trojans earned themselves another game also with a 48-16 victory against No. 15-seeded Oak Park-River Forest in a Class 4A Hinsdale Central regional semifinal on Wednesday night.
Oak Park junior McKale Thompson scored the game's first basket, but the Trojans scored the next 10 points, led by a pair of Ellie Gross 3-pointers, for a 10-2 lead at the end of the period. By halftime the Trojans (26-6) led 18-8 but knew their lead could have been bigger.
"I think the first half offensively we missed a lot of just good opportunities," Downers North coach Stephan Bolt said. "Had good shots, had good ball movement, missed layups and free throws. Second half we made shots and we finished around the basket and made some free throws. It was just a big difference."
Downers North started to put the game out of reach at the end of the third quarter, which ended with Sebek's 3-pointer.
"I was open. I felt like I had to knock it down," she said.
She did, and with that momentum behind them, the Trojans scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter to put the game away.
"We were all on the same page and we knew we could pull it out together," Sebek said.
"Downers is just a machine," Oak Park coach J.P. Coughlin added. "They're really, really good. They're really well-coached. We tried to throw a few things at them they haven't seen this year. Kind of a sloppy start for both teams. We just can't score. That's been our bugaboo all year."
It didn't help that the Huskies (6-26) lost leading scorer Tatym Coe, a senior guard, early in the second quarter with an injury. She left the game on crutches with an ice bag on her left ankle.
"That was tough. We just don't have the volume of scorers that some teams have," Coughlin said.
Senior post Alexis Parker led Downers North with 10 points, Ellie Gross scored 9 and her sophomore sister, Kate Gross, added 8 points.
The Trojans will take on regional host Hinsdale Central, the No. 10 seed and a West Suburban Conference Silver Division rival, in the final at 7 p.m. Friday. The Red Devils (11-17) upset No. 7 Proviso East 56-43 in the second semifinal.