Crenshaw hits for 30, Dundee-Crown nips South Elgin
Dundee-Crown's Alyssa Crenshaw adhered to proper etiquette that says you leave a place the way you found it.
Crenshaw had cleaned up around the basket all game against South Elgin, hauling in 20 rebounds, and after her final minute, the D-C gymnasium was spotless.
Crenshaw scored on two putbacks in the final 46 seconds as the Chargers edged the Storm, 54-53, Saturday in a nonconference girls basketball game that was the season opener for both teams.
Crenshaw, a 5-foot-9 senior forward, finished with a game-high 30 points. She grabbed two D-C misses, scoring on the second rebound with 14 seconds remaining. South Elgin rushed downcourt for a last-second shot, but Ella Winterhalder's shot missed and D-C grabbed the rebound.
"I definitely like (rebounding)," Crenshaw said. "I like the physical game, getting in there and rebounding. Gaby Bianchi drove to the basket and really helped us getting us a shot up and giving us a chance to score another basket. I knew I had to keep rebounding and keep trying to put it back up."
Dana Cornwell missed a 15-footer on D-C's final possession, which Crenshaw grabbed and tossed to Bianchi. When Bianchi's shot rolled off the rim, Crenshaw was there for the putback.
The game had gone back and forth the entire way, with South Elgin's 8-point lead early in the second quarter as the largest margin for either team.
When the Storm grabbed a 53-49 lead with 1:05 remaining in the fourth on Raina Yang's free throw, it did not look favorable for the Chargers. D-C forward Gianine Boado also was out for the final 5:43 after being called for a charging foul.
"We showed fight," D-C coach Sarah Teipel said. "I saw it in their eyes during that timeout (with 1:39 seconds remaining). Everybody's eyes were here (looking up), chins up, no one hanging. If we keep our chins up and listen and fight, fight, fight, this is what ends up happening, and we never gave up."
Kate Raby made 1 of 2 free throws with 53 seconds to go. The Chargers then got a turnover and Crenshaw scored on a putback.]
"Our goal, as a team, is to keep pushing through every play and never letting our mentality down," Raby said. "At a time when Gianine was out with fouls, we all had to help. I had to be strong and try to score."
Sophomore Kendall Brents hit a 3-pointer right after Boado sat down. Raby and reserve Marisol Gutierrez both hit short jumpers. Then Crenshaw finished the job.
"We all had to step up," Crenshaw said. "You never know when you're going to be called on to help contribute. Even if it's just a great pass or trying to score."
Winterhalder fired in seven 3s to lead the Storm with 21 points. Caroline Croft added 11, and Caitlyn Tolentino scored 10.
South Elgin coach Dan Mandernack was proud of the way his team, with no seniors in the starting lineup and the tallest player at 5-8, battled against D-C.
"It was a very high level of basketball," Mandernack said. "It wasn't a first-game-of-the-season feel. Not only are we young, but we're super small. At the end of the day, when our big (Zoie Lewis) fouls out, the effort was there, but Crenshaw just kind of took over the game.
"She was getting two, three rebounds every time down the court. She played an incredible game."
Mandernack liked the look Winterhalder got for the potential game-winner at the end.
"I was going to call a timeout, but we got the ball in clean to our point guard (Croft)," he said. "Instead of letting (Teipel) set up her defense, maybe set a trap, I thought it was best to let them roll. Our point guard got it and our leading scorer had a shot."