Baltes' career-best 27 pace St. Charles East

St. Charles East (14-11) remembered its challenge in creating offense against West Aurora's girls basketball team in December, a game the Blackhawks won by 12.

This time, the Saints turned things around and won 49-39.

"We didn't shoot well against their zone," Saints coach Lori Drumtra explained. "This time they played more man-to-man. West Aurora planned to slow the game pace down, play patient offense, and crash the boards."

Midway through the third quarter, the teams found themselves knotted at 30-30. Then the Saints began driving the ball to the basket, thus creating more opportunities for their offense. And Lexi Baltes, in particular, took advantage, scoring a career-high 27 points, including six from 3-point range.

"She felt good shooting and she wasn't hesitating to shoot," Drumtra said.

Stephanie Roan and Jaime Rust both scored 7 points for the Saints.

Kiara Towles played a solid game for led West Aurora (7-17), scoring 20 points and grabbing numerous rebounds. "She really stood out tonight and crashed the boards well," said Blackhawks coach Connie Siljendahl. She also noted the improved play of the team's younger players, especially Royalle Brown and Jasmine Johnson.

Aurora Christian 49, Plano 39: The No. 5 Eagles overcame a 28-23 halftime deficit and knocked off the No. 4 Reapers, advancing to the Aurora Christian regional semifinal.

Coming in, the Eagles planned to pressure Plano's offense up and down the court, hoping to force turnovers and it worked initially. But the Reapers offense got going in the second quarter and held a 28-20 lead late in the first half. Then Eagles senior Kaitlin Bellak drained a 3-pointer just before halftime and the game seemed to change.

"That was a big shot going into halftime," Eagles coach Dan Stone insisted. In the second half, Aurora Christian outscored Plano by 15 points. Mertens led the Eagles with 26 points, including 11 in the third quarter. The Eagles (9-17) play top-seeded Marquette on Wednesday night.

Elgin Academy 35, Moosheart 28: Through three quarters on Monday night, Mooseheart's girls basketball team did all the things to put itself into position to defeat Elgin Academy in the opening round of the Class A Hinckley-Big Rock Regional.

Then the Ramblers struggled in the fourth quarter and the Hilltoppers surged, and the resulting 14-4 scoring disparity in Elgin Academy's favor lifted them to a 35-28 victory.

The win moves Elgin Academy (12-12) into Wednesday's semifinals against the top-seeded hosts.

Mooseheart (14-8) saw a very successful season end following its first playoff contest.

"It's very frustrating," Mooseheart senior Kim Phillips said. "We needed better passes. Our shots that we took were all off."

Sophomore Katie Stryker led Mooseheart with 10 points.

Boys swimming

Upon further review: Some of the final team scores from Saturday's Upstate Eight Conference meet held at St. Charles East were reported incorrectly in Sunday's editions. The correct team scores in the meet were Neuqua Valley 317, Waubonsie Valley 254, Lake Park 195, St. Charles North 168, St. Charles East 164, Bartlett 158.

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