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Streamwood’s girls proved much better at seizing a lead than protecting one Thursday against Conant in the quarterfinals of the Mundelein Holiday Tournament — that is, until Hannah McGlone took control.
The Sabres junior 6-foot post player scored five points in the second overtime while dishing out two critical assists in leading Streamwood to a 65-56 victory and their first-ever berth in the semifinals of the tourney.
“I think we made it tougher on ourselves, definitely,” said McGlone, who scored a game-high 24 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, blocked four shots and doled out five assists. “A couple more rebounds and that game was over. But it happens.”
Actually, if someone could have stopped Conant’s Haley Anderson at the end of regulation or the first overtime, it would have been finished. Conant’s 5-11 sophomore post player got an 18-foot shot from atop the key to bounce high off the rim and through at the buzzer to knot it at 45 ending regulation. Then she had the second putback attempt under the hoop that went down at the buzzer in the first overtime to tie it at 50.
“That killed me,” McGlone said about Anderson’s key points. “It was my mistake on the defense to leave her wide open, too.”
In the second OT, McGlone gave Streamwood the lead for good by sinking a layup off Holly Foret’s assist, drawing a foul and completing a three-point play after Conant’s Anderson hit a layup and missed her try at a three-point play. Up 53-52, the Sabres got it back after two Conant misses and Foret hit a layup off McGlone’s assist for a 55-52 lead.
After Conant (5-10) drew within 55-54, the same duo put the game out of reach. McGlone scored for a 57-54 lead, and after a couple Conant misses McGlone fed Foret for a big layup and 59-54 lead. The Sabres then put it away at the line with six straight free throws.
Streamwood (13-2) finished 4-of-6 from the field and 7-of-7 from the line in the second overtime to advance to a 5 p.m. semifinal matchup today against Vernon Hills.
“It was tough,” Sabres coach George Rosner said. “We had the lead and it shouldn’t have gone to the first overtime. Then we let them get the second shot and third shot [in the first overtime] when all we had to do was secure a rebound.
“But the girls came back and kept playing hard and smart. They got the ball into the right peoples’ hands.”
The right people included Jessica Cerda, who finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. She helped the Sabres finish 10-of-18 from the floor in the fourth quarter and overtimes.
“I was proud of our effort,” Conant coach Dan Travers said. “That Streamwood team is very skilled and has got some offensive talent. We had to work hard to stop people, and struggled to score.
“We had to just grind it out and made too many mistakes.”
Conant had 12 points from Anderson until she fouled out in the second overtime, which proved a big factor. Sara Mazurek had 10 points and Katie Lomas 11. The Cougars fell behind 28-21 in the third quarter after a 12-4 Streamwood run, rallied to within 36-34 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, but seemed done when the Sabres got two McGlone buckets and a Cerda free throw for a 45-38 lead with 4:06 left. But they forced four turnovers and tied it on Anderson’s buzzer-beater.
“We couldn’t put them away,” Rosner said after his team’s fifth straight win. “They were scrappy, played good defense and took three charges. We knew they would be a tough team for us to score on if we were too impatient, and we were at times.”