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North Stars girls basketball ensures winning season

Published: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 10:11 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 10:15 p.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles North girls basketball team’s season has seen a promising 1-2 scoring punch emerge, and Morgan Rosencrants and Nichole Davidson reinforced that development on the final night of the regular season.

Rosencrants scored 21 points and Davidson added 18 points to lift the North Stars to a 56-51 win Thursday against South Elgin in the Upstate Eight Conference third-place crossover game.

“We’re pretty unstoppable when we’re playing together and we’re both on,” Rosencrants said.

The win ensured North (14-12) will finish coach Sean Masoncup’s first season with a winning record. North will open postseason play Wednesday in a 4A regional semifinal against Bartlett at Glenbard East.

“That’s huge,” Masconcup said of guaranteeing a winning record. “Our team goal was to finish above .500 in both conference and in regular season. The girls have really bought in, and it’s been a lot of fun. One through 15, they’re just a great group of young ladies, and I’m happy for them.”

North led by as many as 13 points after Rosencrants scored the first four points of the fourth quarter for a 42-29 lead at the 6:40 mark.

South Elgin (18-9), though, came as close as 50-47 with 1:22 to play in the fourth quarter as Storm forward Mackie Kelleher converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound.

The Storm then briefly had the ball down three after North turned it over, but Rosencrants stole it right back and was fouled, making both free throws for a 52-47 advantage with 1:07 to go. South Elgin came no closer than five points the rest of the way.

The Storm committed a season-high 26 turnovers, much to coach Tim Prendergast’s chagrin.

“Usually, you see this in the beginning of the year,” Prendergast said of his team’s turnover woes. “We’re a veteran team. We don’t travel that much. It was double dribbles, it was travels. I think what happens is sometimes girls get in a funk and they can’t get out of it.”

Davidson and Rosencrants accounted for 16 of North’s 21 points in the first half, after which the North Stars led, 21-20. The duo also combined for 20 rebounds on the night.

“Morgan and Nicole get their points, but [point guard Kyla Helsel] gets us into that spot,” Masoncup said. “ … But when those two are on, we’re a pretty good offensive team.”

Helsel scored 10 points and made two of the North Stars’ three 3-pointers.

The victory allowed North to head into the postseason on much more confident footing after absorbing a lopsided loss in its prior outing against Geneva.

Senior forward Kennede Miller led South Elgin with 14 points. Anna Tracy added 12 points and Kelleher added 10 for the Storm, whose bench was scoreless on the night.

South Elgin will be the top seed next week at the Class 4A Jacobs Regional.

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