St. Charles East's 3-point shooting sinks Glenbard North
Confidence can be fleeting at times for high school basketball players.
Two days after snapping a 5-game losing streak with Sunday's 52-50 victory over Lake Park, St. Charles East's girls basketball team continued its winning ways with Tuesday night's 48-37 Upstate Eight Conference triumph over Glenbard North (1-9, 1-8) in St. Charles.
Sophomore Emma Yakey led the way with 22 points for the Saints (5-6, 5-4), who jumped out to a fast start and maintained a double-digit lead for much of the way.
St. Charles East led 13-3 after 1 quarter, thanks in large part to Yakey, who connected on three consecutive 3-point baskets during the Saints' 11-0 surge in the first 6 ½ minutes.
"We wanted to come out hard and strong," said Yakey. "Last time, it was a close game (Saints defeated Glenbard North 45-44 on Feb. 14) so this time, we wanted to show how tough we were."
Yakey, who finished 6 of 9 from beyond the arc, added 8 more points in the third quarter, including a buzzer-beating, conventional 2-point basket to give the Saints a 37-26 advantage heading into the final 8 minutes.
"She can shoot it," Saints coach Michael Murphy said of Yakey. "Every shooter goes through slumps. She went through a little bit of a slump, but she shot the ball well against Lake Park on Sunday and that carried over tonight.
"Once you hit a couple, the basket looks like an ocean."
Cali Papez (8 points, 6 rebounds), Torrie Kortan (8 points), and Makenna Brown (5 points, 12 rebounds) also contributed for the Saints, who shot 41% from 3-point range (8 of 19) and 37% (15 of 41) from the field.
"During our losing streak, we were not shooting the ball well at all," said Murphy. "In our six losses, we shot 19% from 3s. In our wins, we were 35% from 3s.
"We had three consecutive games scoring 27, 26, and 21 points. It comes down to making shots."
Kortan, who entered the game early in the second quarter, returned for her first action since going down with an injury last week against Batavia.
"We were trying to use her sparingly," said Murphy. "She's a big part of the team."
UW-Milwaukee recruit Justina Hernandez led the Panthers with 12 points (all in the second half), 9 rebounds and 3 steals, while Olivia Corona added 12 points.
"Justina is a great kid and great player but if she's not firing on all cylinders, it's really hard for us to get stuff going," said Panthers coach Steve Wit.
"We're struggling to find some chemistry and some rhythm. Psychologically, as soon as things start going south, we lack the body of work that says, 'Hey, we're going to be OK.'"