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As the final seconds ticked off the clock in the third quarter Friday, Erin Boothe stole the ball and raced down the court for a layup to beat the buzzer.
That one play summed up the second half in Evanston’s 51-40 win over New Trier.
Down two at intermission, the No. 17-ranked Wildkits forced 12 turnovers in the third quarter and outscored the Trevians 18-5 to run away with the victory, which earned Evanston the outright CSL South championship.
Boothe, a senior guard, scored six of her career-high 16 points in the third quarter, all on layups off turnovers.
“That’s how we should always play,” said Boothe, whose team is the top seed at the Class 4A Loyola Sectional. We had a big talk before the game about needing to push the ball and play with intensity.”
New Trier (14-14, 5-5) led by as many as six in the second quarter and 21-19 at the break.
It was all Evanston in the final 16 minutes.
The Wildkits (23-3, 9-1) scored the first five points of the third quarter, highlighted by junior guard Dashae Shumate’s 3-pointer off a turnover, to take a 37-26 lead into the fourth, where they then went 8-for-9 on free throws.
“We were watching them on defense instead of using our athleticism,” said Evanston coach Elliot Whitefield of his team’s uninspired play over the first two quarters. “We started playing the passing lanes very well, and Erin was phenomenal.”
Shumate followed Boothe with 12 points. Junior guard Isabella Bosco finished with eight points for the Trevians.