South Elgin bounces back, beats Streamwood
South Elgin's Caroline Croft felt right at home Friday night.
With sophomore Raina Yang sidelined (non-COVID related), Croft returned to her former position at point guard and turned in a superb all-around performance during South Elgin's 57-32 Upstate Eight Conference girls basketball victory over Streamwood (3-4, 3-3) in South Elgin.
The 5-foot-7 junior filled the stat sheet with 13 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals, combining with teammates Zoie Lewis (16 points), Ella Winterhalder (15 points, 4 steals), and Caitlyn Tolentino (7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals) to make things difficult for the Sabres' offense.
Relying on relentless trapping defense, the Storm recorded 20 steals, many of which resulted in easy layups.
"We're all guards so when we can press a team with all of us flying around and getting to the ball, I think it really helps us," said Croft. "(For me) just getting back to where I played last year felt a lot more normal."
Ahead 18-11 after 1 quarter, the Storm turned up the heat during a 15-1 run in the first 3 ½ minutes of the second quarter.
Winterhalder and Croft combined for 13 of those 15 points, as the Storm extended the lead to 33-12.
"They played incredible defense," said South Elgin coach Dan Mandernack. "We were in the passing lanes and pressing.
"Big teams bully us in the half-court at times, so we have to be able to bully people using our speed and athleticism."
South Elgin (5-5, 4-2), which dropped a 45-42 decision to Glenbard East Thursday night, led 37-17 at the half before extending the margin to 50-25 heading into the final quarter.
"It's good to bounce back," said Croft. "Coach (Mandernack) said we had to make a statement here after losing a tough game last night."
"We've got three road losses to Dundee-Crown, Batavia, and Glenbard East by a total of 6 points," said Mandernack. "They're learning on the run."
Vivian Sumoski and Sayuri Ishikawa paced the Sabres with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
"You can't win a game committing 25 or more turnovers," said Sabres coach George Rosner, whose team had 34 turnovers, 21 of them coming in the opening half.
"When you turn it over, that's a shot you don't get, and in the case of this game, I'd say at least half of those turnovers resulted in direct baskets for them. There's no way to overcome that."