St. Charles East's 4th-quarter rally beats St. Charles North

 
By Jake Bartelson
Shaw Media
Updated 12/17/2021 10:13 PM

Torrie Kortan's shot hasn't been falling at its usual rate lately, but she said her teammates keep her going.

Kortan, St. Charles East's four-year varsity player, had only one point at the half of Friday's game with St. Charles North.

 

But she hit one of the game's biggest shots in the Saints' eventual 46-38 win, their second over the North Stars this season.

"My teammates are what get me through it. The last couple games, I've been struggling," said Kortan, who finished with eight points and six rebounds. "It's hard to get out of a slump, yeah, but my teammates just push me through it. They keep passing me the ball, obviously they trust they're going to fall because we shot 1,000 shots [often]."

Kortan's 3-pointer with 3:55 remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Saints (10-1, 3-1) their first lead since early in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Lexi DiOrio followed it up with a 3 of her own and the Saints never looked back.

"I feel like, as a senior, it's my job to keep everyone up [emotionally]," Kortan said. "I watch the tape and my body language affects everyone else and I have to be mature. And, I wasn't mature [in] the first half and that's why I think we were down [22-17] because I was acting petty because I wasn't scoring."

"Luckily, I was able to get out of it ... one positive thing leads to a trickle effect basically [for everyone else]," Kortan continued.

As Kortan weathers the shooting woes, there are other positives to point to. She took a charge, kept her hands active in passing lanes and rebounded.

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"If your shot is not going in, you can still impact the game in a positive way through other areas, whether it's defense, grabbing a rebound, making a good switch," Saints coach Michael Murphy said. "I think she took a charge ... that was something that we talked about is trying to take charges on [North Stars] Alyssa Hughes and Reagan [Sipla]. They're such strong drivers, left hand, right hand. Take a charge. That's a momentum swing and she did that."

The Saints were paced by Calli Papez's 10 points and 10 rebounds, while DiOrio had seven points and six rebounds. Emma Yakey had seven points and Olivia Kiefer had six points.

St. Charles East first defeated St. Charles North (7-4, 1-3) in the third game of the season, at the York Thanksgiving Tournament.

The North Stars were held scoreless for close to the final 4:35 of Friday's game.

After Erin Stack split two free throws, the second free throw rebound was tapped to Stack who swished it for a jumper. On their final series of possessions, the North Stars committed three turnovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I think, sometimes, I forget how young some of our impact players are," North Stars coach Mike Tomczak said. "And down the stretch, that's invaluable experience. I thought we didn't do a great job executing in those last couple minutes. [The Saints] hit a couple big shots and put them up."

St. Charles North was paced by Sipla's 14 points and three assists. Hughes had nine points and three rebounds. Erin Stack had nine points and three rebounds and Katrina Stack had six points, eight rebounds and four blocks.

"We've struggled all year, when we get behind, coming back," Tomczak said. "We really have been. We've been very good when we're out in front, but when we face adversity, we don't attack it with the same energy. You can kind of read it in our body language sometimes; so learning from that, having the girls recognize that ... they did most of the talking in the locker room."

Tomczak then referenced the end of the third quarter when the North Stars had a four-point lead entering the final quarter.

"You're up [four] on the road, in a rivalry game going in the fourth quarter," Tomczak said. "You can't ask for a ton more. Give credit to St. Charles East. They play tough. They do. They hit a couple big shots down the end. I thought defensively we took them away from a lot of the things they wanted to do. It turned more into kind of a guts 'who wanted it more?' game. Down the stretch, they certainly did."

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