St. Charles North holds off Saints from line
Erin Stack was far from bashful as she eyed the basket from beyond the top of the key.
The St. Charles North junior let fly from beyond the arc and found her intended destination.
It would prove to be the lone field goal the North Stars girls basketball would tally in the fourth quarter against rival St. Charles East.
But the North Stars remedied their suspect free-throw shooting at the right time by scoring their final 11 points from the line in sealing a 45-37 victory over the host Saints Saturday afternoon.
"When it left my hand I was like, 'Yeah, that's all good,'" Stack said of her 3-pointer that snapped the first deadlock of the game with 6:31 to play. "I think it was definitely a big shot, and I'm glad it went in."
St. Charles East three-year starting guard Torrie Kortain, who scored all 11 of the Saints' points in the final quarter, had given her team its only lead of the game with a baseline-left 3-pointer two possessions earlier.
Stack forged the initial tie at 31-31 by splitting a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession.
Kortain split a pair at the line after scoring the final conventional field goal of the game on her preceding trip to secure a second after the Stack 3-pointer.
Stack would once again break the tie with a free throw.
The North Stars' Emma Ludwig, Tatum Settelmeyer and Stack would then combine to convert 10 more free throws as St. Charles North improved to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the DuKane Conference.
With the game in the balance, the Saints (3-2, 3-1) were fatally sabotaged by missing the front end of the bonus, a layup and two pivotal player-control fouls.
"It's just the way the game was going," Kortain said of scoring all of the Saints' fourth-quarter points in assembling a game-high total of 21. "We have to learn how to close out; we haven't learned that yet. It's a learning opportunity we have to go through."
Stack finished with a team-high 17 points; Ludwig was close behind with 14.
"My only thought was that I'm not losing this game to East," Ludwig said of her 6-for-6 free-throw shooting in the final minute and 14 seconds. "I knew I had to get the offense going as the point guard."
St. Charles North led 21-15 at halftime as both teams were plagued by turnovers.
But the Saints' freshman guard Alexis Maridis scored all 8 of her points in the third quarter on three aggressive moves to the basket to set the stage for a climatic fourth.
"Once I saw the first (driving layup) fall the others just came naturally," Maridis said.