Schaumburg ousts defending champ Glenbrook South

Audrey Schluckbier may have suffered a torn ACL last week in practice, but the Schaumburg senior guard still helped the Saxons knock off the 2-time defending champion Glenbrook South team Thursday night in semifinal action of the Bill Neibch Holiday Girls Basketball Tournament.

Her sister Grace Schluckbier made nine straight free throws in the second half as the Saxons held off the Titans 49-37 to reach the championship game against Waubonsie Valley. The top-seeded Saxons (15-2) led 31-21 at the half before the Titans started the second half with a 9-0 run to close to within a point. Grace Schluckbier snapped the team’s scoring drought with a baseline drive, then promptly added a pair of free throws and then a 3-pointer to extend Schaumburg’s lead to 38-30.

From there, she added seven more foul shots before finally missing one late to finish the night with 14 points—all in the second half—and a 9-for-10 effort from the foul line.

“I was very nervous [at the free-throw line] but I reminded myself of what my sister used to always say,” Grace Schluckbier said. “She always told me to stay composed. She always reminds me to stay calm and I remembered that when I was shooting.”

After falling to the Titans in last year’s championship game at Wheaton North, the veteran Saxons were determined to avenge that setback and start building some memories for this season.

“We had something to prove that we’re the No. 1 seed for a reason and we shouldn’t have lost last year,” senior Symone Harrell said. “We are working together. We lost our point guard last week in practice, and I’m really proud of my teammates for pushing through and showing that we deserve this. We have a lot to show this year and we all want to go out with a bang.”

Harrell and guard Jayda Branch each tallied 12 points in the first half as the Saxons used a 19-7 charge in the second quarter to build a 10-point lead at the intermission.

“We love to have a slow start to really drive our coach crazy,” Schaumburg coach Jacqie Strauch joked after her team overcame a 14-12 deficit after one quarter on Thursday. “We did that yesterday too. But they always come back. They’re always going to fight.”

Gina Davorija scored a game-high 17 points to pace the Titans, but Christina Korompilas was next with 5 points before fouling out.

Glenbrook South coach Scott Nemecek liked the way his squad came out after the break, but tipped his cap to the experienced Saxons team for playing well.

“The girls got it going. It was fun to see,” Nemecek said of his team’s 9-0 run to open the second half. “But they’re a good team. They’re very well coached and they were well prepared for us. We beat them in the championship last year so obviously you’re going to get their best shot.

“Offensively we probably weren’t as sharp as we wanted to be … defensively we really weren’t that bad. We weren’t great but we weren’t that bad. It wasn’t our best day … I didn’t find the right answers for the girls today and that’s the way it goes.”

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