ST. CHARLES – St. Charles North desperately needed an offensive spark in the third quarter Tuesday.
Megan Gunnink provided that spark.
Gunnink hit three key 3-pointers to stabilize the North Stars. St. Charles North, which led by 10 points early, rallied in the second half for a 53-48 win over Schaumburg.
"Meg bailed us out in the third quarter," North coach Mike Tomczak said. "Without that, I don't know where we'd be."
Anna Tate and Anna Davern each scored 10 of their 17 points in the first half for North (7-5), which led 16-6 after a quarter and sat seemingly comfortably ahead 27-19 at half.
"We had a lot of opportunities in the first half...we just missed. They just [needed] to finish," Schaumburg coach Jacqie Storm said. "They came out ready to finish."
But Storm's team made its move after halftime.
Saxons guard Ariana Doroskin (11 points, two rebounds) made two 3-pointers and Kendall Fredrickson (eight points, three rebounds) sandwiched a steal-and-scoring layup between the threes to tie the game at 27. The Saxons kept coming.
Vicky Aguirre found room in transition for two buckets in the paint to cap a 12-0 run and a frustrated North offense looking for an answer to the sudden scoring drought and 31-27 deficit.
The Gunnink, a senior guard, came to the rescue.
Gunnink buried two consecutive 3-pointers for the eventual 33-33 tie with 2:08 remaining in the quarter. She later capped her scoring surge with another three for a 38-31 lead toward the end of the frame to stabilize North heading into the final frame 41-35.
"I knew we needed something to pick it up. My shots weren't falling in the first half, so once I made one, that got my confidence [rolling]," Gunnink, who finished with nine points and a pair of rebounds. "They switched to a 2-3 [defensive zone], so once we moved the ball, I got more opportunities for open shots."
It was a bit of a role-reversal for the North Stars, who typically begins the second half stronger than the previous. Tomczak noted going away from their zone defense at the end of the first quarter took some of the North Stars' energy away – which carried on into the third quarter.
North increased its margin to 10, but Schaumburg whittled it to five at 46-41 with 3:26 left. From there, converted free throws became a premium down the stretch.
Davern helped push North over the final possessions to keep the Saxons (1-13) at bay for the eventual 53-48 victory. Davern had 12 rebounds and sophomore Caroline Jakaitis provided an admirable rebounding performance with eight boards and six points. Schaumburg guard Kayla Patterson countered with 12 points and four rebounds.