South Elgin takes key UEC win at Glenbard South
The South Elgin girls basketball team has been severely tested in its nonconference schedule, taking a few lumps in the process.
But the stiff competition has also thoroughly prepared the Storm for Upstate Eight Conference play.
On Tuesday South Elgin stayed in the hunt for the UEC crown with a 50-31 victory over Glenbard South in Glen Ellyn, improving to 9-1 in the league.
"We've played such a tough nonconference schedule," said South Elgin coach Dan Mandernack, whose assistant had calculated that their team's nine overall losses had come against opponents with a combined record of 96-18 at the end of Christmas. "This was a big night for us, it keeps us on track in the conference. You could tell our players really wanted it.
"We were able to kind of take away any hope they had in the beginning. We came out with a sense of urgency."
Indeed the visiting Storm (12-9 overall) jumped out to a 17-4 advantage after the opening quarter and the deficit never made it back into single digits. South Elgin increased the margin to 33-14 by half.
"We came out and we struggled," said Glenbard South coach Morgan Kasperek, whose team fell to 12-6 overall and 6-3 in the conference. "South Elgin moves the ball really well and they got to the middle on us. They outhustled us, they outworked us. I thought our second group came in and competed, our first group did not."
Madison Waichunas led a balanced South Elgin scoring effort with 14 points. Megan McClure chipped in with 13 points while playing stellar defense on the Raiders' Maggie Bair, who was held to 6 points. Caroline Croft also chipped in with 10.
"Sharing the ball really helps us and we are able to score off that," Waichunas said. "This was a huge game for us to win. We've only lost one game in conference and we have more confidence now and we are taking that confidence into other games.
"In this game we really made all of our shots in the first half. We came out with urgency and we had a lot of fight to get after the ball."
Lauren Cohen topped the Raiders with 11 points, and Iman Sellars scored 7. Glenbard South pulled within 39-23 in the third quarter but could get no closer.