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No. 23 Bogan hasn’t played in nearly a week and it showed in the playoff opener Thursday night for the Bengals.
Morton, a No. 13 seed, battled for one and a half quarters with fourth-seeded Bogan until the Bengals scored 20 of 22 points midway through the game in a 59-41 victory in the Class 4A Hinsdale Central Regional semifinals.
The Bengals (21-4) will face 11th-seeded Oak Park-River Forest (12-17), a 70-56 winner over Hinsdale Central, in the regional final at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Bogan beat OPRF 49-45 on Jan. 28 during the Montini Holiday tournament.
Chelsea Stone led the Bengals with 19 points in their playoff opener. Morton (14-14) took a 23-22 lead with 3:32 remaining in the second quarter on Isza Gonzalez’s rebound and layup. Gonzalez’s basket ended a run of seven consecutive points she scored for the Mustangs.
Bogan answered with eight points to end the first half and then the Bengals scored another 12 points after Gonzalez (game-high 23 points, 12 rebounds) opened the scoring in the second half on a layup. Bogan outscored Morton 14-5 in the third quarter. Morton’s next basket in the third quarter didn’t come until Drenisha Wideman’s layup with four seconds to go.
“We’ve been off, really for one week with just practice,” Stone said. “We had to get back in the flow. We had to get back together.”
Brittany Byrd scored 16 points and Deja Dickens added 11 points for Bogan. The Bengals led 17-11 to end the first quarter, but an 8-3 run by Morton to start the second quarter pulled the Mustangs to within one.
“We haven’t played in a really long time. The first thing we had to do was get back our rhythm,” Stone said.