Girls basketball: Geneva tops St. Charles East for title
By Chris Pall For Sun-Times Media February 14, 2013 10:18PM
The Geneva Vikings celebrate in the fourth quarter as they pull away from host St Charles East during Thursday's regional championship game. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 14, 2013 10:26PM
Tightening the screws defensively, the Geneva Vikings claimed the Class 4A St. Charles East Regional championship Thursday night with a 63-39 triumph over the hosts.
Contesting every shot and causing havoc for the Saints (18-12), the Vikings (19-10) outscored St. Charles East 35-10 in the second half and advanced to the Bartlett Sectional semifinals Tuesday against Wheaton Warrenville South. The Saints must have felt that the basket was capped as their first 11 attempts from the field in the third quarter went awry.
Meanwhile, the Vikings drilled nine of 16 from the floor and forged a 46-34 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. The Saints did not fare much better in the final frame, hitting two of 11.
“We switched from a 1-2-2 to man defense, and we’re bigger than most teams so they couldn’t get a lot of good shots up over us,” said Geneva senior Sami Pawlak. “They play a fast game, but we were able to stay with them.”
The Saints grabbed a 12-3 lead behind 10 points from senior Carly Pottle who sank a pair of treys in that span, but the Vikings countered with Pawlak. She notched 10 points in the frame and the Vikings held a 13-12 lead after eight minutes.
Despite three long balls from Morgan Seberger in the second stanza, the Vikings trailed 29-28 at the intermission. Hampered by seven turnovers in the third quarter, cold shooting doomed the Saints.
“We decided to make it harder on them to get shots off and pressure them,” said Seberger. “We were able to get some turnovers and frustrate them.”
“That was the big difference in the game, our defense,” said Geneva coach Sarah Meadows. “We preached it the last couple of days as we prepared for East. It was just a matter of working your butt off.”
Pawlak finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks while Abby Novak led all scorers with 16 points. Seberger chipped in 13 points and Kelly Gordon added nine for the Vikings.
Pottle led the Saints with 12 points while Katie Claussner, Amanda Hilton and Laney Deckrow each tallied seven points. Deckrow also grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Vikings connected on 23 of 28 from the field and 14 of 20 from the charity stripe. The Saints hit 13 of 53 from the floor and seven of 13 from the free throw line.
“They amped up their defense in the second half, especially on the boards,” said Saints coach Lori Drumtra. “We went cold and that’s when they started to pull away.”