Carmel dumps Glenbrook South to win tourney title
Carmel Catholic needed to find out if it could pass the test through the opening week of the girls basketball season.
The Corsairs found out that a close game was completely different from its first four games.
Carmel prevailed with a 59-51 victory over Glenbrook South in the final game of the Mundelein Girls Thanksgiving tournament on Saturday. The Corsairs (5-0) ended up winning the tournament title, while Glenbrook South (4-1) settled for second place.
"It's great that we won it and I'm proud of the girls," Carmel coach Ben Berg said. "We got challenged and they did a nice job. I think we responded to the challenge and I think we had a few players in foul trouble. I thought we responded well to adversity.
"We need games like that to get where we want to be by the end of the year. It's important to have tight games, adversity and overcome that. The first four games we really didn't experience that. It was a good experience in a championship atmosphere."
Michigan State-bound Jordan Wood took the ball in her own hands by a game-high 27 points. The Corsairs were down 29-28 early in the third quarter and outscored the Titans 15-3 for a 43-32 lead going into the final quarter.
"I knew that I just had to attack and be smart," Wood said. "I thought Glenbrook South played better as a team and threw us off by breaking our presses and going to the basket."
Glenbrook South closed to within 6 with a 9-4 run early in the fourth quarter after Chloe Gonzalez (8 points) scored on a short jump with 5:25 left.
But the Corsairs recovered behind Bucknell recruit Grace Sullivan, who had 10 of her 18 points and 8 free throws down the stretch. She also pulled down 14 rebounds.
"We battled and (Carmel) was an outstanding team and very well-coached," Glenbrook South coach Scott Nemecek said. "Our girls played so well in so many areas. We do have some things to clean up. It was great to play this game and it gives us a lot to see what we need to work on. This was a team that we played that could be a regional champion or even a sectional champion and we hope that we're at the same level as them. I think we can be and we're pretty excited about the rest of the season."
Sydney Rodgers led the Titans with a team-high 14 points and Madison Luckey added 11 off the bench.
"It really was tough for us and we knew that was going to happen," Rodgers said. "We were preparing for it all week. Obviously, we know some of the players on their team and know their strengths and weaknesses. We just knew that it was going to be a tough one. We did get some tempo started in the third quarter and they might have taken some of our shots away."
Carmel had three players on the all-tournament team, including Wood, Sullivan and Ashley Schlabowske. Glenbrook South had Rogers, Gonzalez and Anna Rosenberger named to the team.
Others that made the all-tournament team were MaCalyn Flores of Grant, Peyton Gerdes and Dani Hanson of Grayslake North, McKenzie Reitmayer of Highland Park and Allison Binz and Rylan Foster from Mundelein.