Nawrocki, Antioch score final 9 points to hold off Lakes

Antioch junior guard Enza Nawrocki wanted to do her part to make District 117 rival Lakes' as uncomfortable as possible offensively in the final eight minutes Wednesday night.

Lakes had rallied from a 12-point deficit late in theĀ first half to grab a pair of 1-point third-quarter leads and stay within 2 points with 5:08 to play. But the host Sequoits scored the final 9 points and pulled away to a 50-39 Northern Lake County Conference girls basketball victory.

"I thought we did a really good job of not getting too nervous," Nawrocki said, "and keeping our cool and keeping our intensity throughout the end of the game."

Sophomore Heidi Rathmann had a game-high 25 points on 8-for-24 shooting and 11 rebounds to lead Antioch (13-6, 5-1). Nawrocki scored her only points on two free throws with 5:16 to play but played a pivotal role in cooling off Lakes (7-11, 3-4) after the senior duo of Madison Twarling (16 points) and Clarity Turney (11 points, 4 assists) scored all but two of their team's third-quarter points.

Twarling hit three 3-pointers in theĀ third but Nawrocki limited her to a driving three-point play in the fourth that cut the Lakes' deficit to 41-39 with 5:08 left.

"Basically not letting her get the ball was my main goal," Nawrocki said. "I wasn't thinking about anything else."

Nawrocki found sophomore Addison Webb (8 points, 6 rebounds) in the post for a layup at 3:43 to start the closing run. Rathmann hit her third 3 and Webb and Nawrocki also came up with key steals as assistant coach Kelly Johnson, subbing with first-year coach Jamie D'Andrea out ill, opted not to use a timeout when the game was still too close for comfort.

"I let them play through it and figure it out and they did," Johnson said. "We have a couple of sophomores we lean on heavily, but the upperclassmen stepped up and showed great leadership."

Rathmann scored 12 points in the first five minutes but also had to sit the last 2:49 of the first half with three fouls. But Hannah Schaufele scored all 6 of her points in the final 3:05 of the first half to put Antioch up 26-14.

Lakes, which split 30 turnovers in the first half and 46 for the game with Antioch, looked like it had only played once since Dec. 22 and hadn't practiced since Thursday as it shot just 18.8 percent (6-for-32) in the first 16 minutes. It was also missing leading scorer Janae Pullen for a family matter, according to coach Grant Murray.

But Turney's steal and acrobatic underhand scoop three-point play to start the second half energized the Eagles. Turney's assists to Twarling for her third 3 and to Adelyn Martin for a layup gave the Eagles leads of 32-31 and 34-33.

"We said, 'Let's knock the rust off and go play,'" Murray said. "We just came out and played and executed.

"We expect that from Clarity. That's how she plays, with that kind of energy, and she makes things happen for us."

But Rathmann responded with a left-side drive with 2:32 to go in the third to put Antioch ahead to stay.

"They hung in there," Johnson said.

"I thought we started the second half a little slower than we expected," Nawrocki said. "As a team we worked together and brought each other back and I'm really proud of how we finished."

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