When St. Charles North seemed on the verge of giving up the last of its 10-point lead, sophomore guard Sam Novak stepped up.
Novak scored the North Stars' final eight points of the third quarter, sending the visitors on their way to a 41-24 nonconference victory in Glen Ellyn.
"I don't know, that just happens sometimes where I'm off in the beginning and it just out of nowhere comes, which is good," Novak said. "I think that's good for the team to have someone who can do that. Even if we haven't scored in a while, we can have someone who comes to start something, and I like being that person. I think every single girl on this team can do that. Someone can have that spark and bring everyone together."
What Novak sparked at the end of the third quarter, her teammates continued in the fourth, going on a 13-1 run to start the period before Raiders sophomore Sydney Bauman converted a hook shot with 1:20 left for the final score of the game.
St. Charles North (7-15) led from start to finish, taking a 19-9 lead with 3:30 left in the second quarter on an Ashling Davern free throw. But Glenbard South (16-6) cut the lead to 19-14 by halftime, and it was 20-19 after Hannah Taylor's free throw with 2:22 left in the third quarter. It looked like the Raiders were about to take over.
"We always worry a little bit, but we really just needed a win, and I think we made a statement together as a team, and that's what we wanted to do," Novak said. "We came in here and we were like, let's win a nonconference game. Let's go into the rest of the (Upstate Eight River) and make a statement for everyone to know that we can do this."
With the North Stars holding that fragile 1-point lead, Novak stepped up, ending the North Stars' drought. She hit two 3-pointers within 45 seconds of each other, then ended the quarter with a 2-pointer.
Morgan Rosencrants scored 12 points to lead the North Stars, and Novak finished with 11. Bauman led Glenbard South with 11 points.
"Morgan Rosencrants had a great game in there," North Stars coach Colleen Backer said of her 6-foot-1 freshman. "We've been waiting for that. Really intense, really active in there, and that energy is good to see. I'm excited for her tonight."
Backer also was excited about her team's defense, holding the Raiders -- who were missing three starters and a key bench player due to injury or illness -- to just 24 points and 18 percent shooting. "We're trying to focus a lot on coming up with defensive stops, so coming out with 24 points at the end of the game is pretty strong, which we're pretty excited about," Backer said.
"That was just crazy," Novak added. "We're a great team, and our record might not be what we think we are, but we are a family and we work together and we work hard and we finally showed everyone that, you know what, this is what we're made of and this is the team that we are."Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.