CARPENTERSVILLE – St. Charles North girls basketball coach Sean Masoncup attributed his team’s 53-47 loss to Burlington Central at the Dundee-Crown tournament to the opening sequences of the game.
Central jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the first quarter, a deficit that doomed the North Stars, according to Masoncup.
“I think that the outcome of the game really was determined in the first two minutes,” Masoncup said. “They went on a 12-2 run, and that was the difference in the game.”
Central’s Sam Pryor and Shelby Holt hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open up the scoring and spur the Rockets’ run. Holt hit two additional buckets from 3-point range in the first quarter and Pryor added three more points to finish as the only Rockets to score in the opening frame.
Rockets forward Alison Colby, who finished with nine points, was pleased with her team's quick start.
“Our chemistry right off the bat and our energy was high,” Colby said. “We’ve been lacking that for other games, so that was great.”
After entering the second quarter down, 15-7, North put together an 11-4 run to pull within one point of the Rockets. Forward Nichole Davidson was fouled on a strong move to the basket but still hit the layup to spark the run for the North Stars (7-9). She converted the ensuing free throw and then hit a 3-point shot on the following possession to pull North within one.
Central’s Pryor answered with a layup and a 3-pointer of her own to end the run, and Holt made an open layup to put the Rockets ahead at the end of the quarter, 27-19.
The third quarter mirrored the second perfectly, with each team scoring 12 in both periods.
Central (11-1) opened the final quarter up, 39-31, but its lead quickly dwindled to four when North’s Kyla Helsel and Davidson converted on two early layups.
The Rockets countered with a Kayla Ross layup and a Pryor jumpshot from the elbow, and were able to hold on to the lead for the rest of the game.
Davidson cut the Central lead to 51-47 with less than 5 seconds left in the game, but a pair of Aly DeTamble free throws iced the victory for the Rockets.
Central coach Mark Smith emphasized his team’s ability to control the flow of the game for its success.
“We want to make sure that we go from side-to-side and make them play defense,” Smith said. “Anybody can come down the floor, make one pass and take a quick shot. We think if you’ve got a quick shot with one pass, if you make three or four passes you’re going to have an even better shot.”
Masconcup expected Central to be a tough matchup, especially given his familiarity with the Rockets' style of play.
“I’ve know Mark for a long time and all of his teams play great defense,” Masoncup said. “That’s what he’s known for and we know that coming in, and they did that to us.”
North’s Davidson led all scorers with 29 points. Helsel’s seven and Morgan Rosencrants’ five rounded out the top scorers for the North Stars.
Pryor (18) led the way for the Rockets, followed by Holt (15), Colby (9) and Ross (6).
Both teams will continue with consolation play Monday.