ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles North girls basketball team finally got to play a home game Tuesday night and – maybe not coincidentally – finally got its first win of the season.
The North Stars (1-8) never trailed in a 45-40 non-conference victory over Grayslake Central, but there were some tense moments in the fourth quarter before the victory was finally secured.
“It got a little bit scary there at the end,” North coach Colleen Backer said. “We don’t want to get in those difficult times, but what we were so excited about is that as a team we powered through.”
The North Stars were up 34-17 midway through the third quarter, but the Rams closed the period on an 11-1 run capped by Maddy Miller’s three-pointer from the left wing with five seconds left on the clock.
Behind the strong post play of 6-1 junior Morgan Ahlstrom (19 points, 8 rebounds), Grayslake Central finally pulled to within one, 37-36, with 1:55 remaining in the game. But North sophomore Nicole Davidson hit four straight free throws to push the margin back to five.
“I wasn’t really nervous because I’ve been doing good on my free throws lately,” Davidson said. “I was confident that I would make them and we would win.”
Davidson, a 5-10 guard, scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
“Some of that confidence and composure on the free-throw line was just unbelievable,” Backer said.
North junior Allie Reed came off the bench to make three of four free throws in the final 17 seconds to end any late comeback thoughts by the Rams.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but we’ve just got to keep calm, keep our composure,” North senior Alex Silverman said. “I think we did pretty well fourth quarter doing that.”
Silverman scored 14 points, secured four rebounds, came up with a pair of steals and blocked a shot.
“We’ve really been trying hard, stepping up our defense,” Silverman said. “We’ve been working on that a lot in practice, getting stops. I think we did well tonight getting under 10 points in almost every quarter.”
Silverman hit a trio of three-point shots in the first half and said she was feeling confident in her shot.
“I think it’s maybe a little easier shooting at home,” she said. “Just being in your gym, you know the rims, know the baskets.”
Morgan Rosencrants added seven points for North. The 6-1 freshman was one of three North Stars who battled hard against Dahlstrom in the post.
“Lauren Durocher did a great job on her for a little while there, Morgan was on here, and Liz McNally played some great defense tonight, which we really needed,” Backer said.
The North Stars hope home cooking continues to taste good Thursday night when they return to Upstate Eight Conference River action against Larkin.