Glenbard South repeats as league champion

Glenbard South center Sydney Bauman and her teammates didn't panic despite being down quickly in the first quarter of Tuesday's Metro Suburban Conference West Division showdown against Riverside-Brookfield.

That's because when you are a veteran team like the Raiders, an early double-figure deficit is no big deal to overcome, even when you are playing in the hostile gym of one of your biggest rivals. Glenbard South got back on track thanks to the play of Bauman and some sharp shooters and rallied to capture a 59-48 victory over the host Bulldogs in Riverside.

The win gave the Raiders the league title for the second consecutive year.

"I just let my girls play," said Glenbard South coach Julie Fonda whose team trailed 13-1 just 3:24 into the contest. "They are a veteran group and have been playing together a long time. I had to let them dig themselves out of the hole they created and they did that. They are competitors and are going to go after it until the buzzer."

Riverside-Brookfield surged to this early lead because of the play of 6-foot-7 center Dana Rettke and the long-range shooting of Samantha Bloom and Lyndsey Hoyd. Rettke led all scorers with 20 points, while Bloom and Hoyd finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

The Raiders (20-3, 10-0) are no slouches themselves when it comes to sinking the 3-pointers. Guards Payton Carli, Jenna Brambora and Sarah Cohen hit some 3-pointers to help Glenbard South cut the Bulldogs' lead. A 7-0 run by the Raiders in the final minute of the second quarter pulled them within 31-29 at halftime. Brambora, one of seven seniors on the team, made a 3 and Alex LaPonte and Carli scored buckets.

"We really stayed composed," Brambora said. "We have been in that position before. (The Bulldogs) were shooting and making everything so we knew they couldn't sustain it and knew we had to fight back."

Even the 6-3 Bauman got into the action on the 3-point shooting parade. After making a mid-range shot to give the Raiders their first lead of the game 37-36 with 2:37 to play in the third quarter, the senior nailed a 3 from the top of the key. Bauman led the way with 8 of her team-high 14 points in the third quarter.

"If I am open, I am going to take them," said Bauman, who will play at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville next year. "Our guards can shoot lights-out too. It was great. My first half was not as strong as my second half. My teammates really pushed me to keep my momentum up and keep my attitude positive."

With the lead in the fourth quarter, Glenbard South kept ahead with some timely field goals and clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch. Carli scored off a steal and also sank a pair of free throws to finish with 12 points. LaPonte and Brambora made three free throws apiece in the final two minutes.

"That was really key - we practice taking pressure free throws," Brambora said. "We are a veteran team, so we stay really composed under pressure. (Winning conference) feels awesome - two years in a row. They are our rivals - we always love beating them."

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