St. Charles East holds off Wheaton North in double overtime

St. Charles East won the Class 4A DeKalb regional championship Thursday night in a hard-fought double-overtime 85-76 victory over Wheaton North.

And to make the night more memorable, Saints senior Lexi DiOrio scored the 1,000th point of her high school career in the second quarter.

St. Charles East will face a familiar foe in the first Batavia sectional semifinal on Monday, either Batavia, the top-rated team in the sectional, or Wheaton Warrenville South, seeded eighth. St. Charles East is the fifth seed.

“It’s awesome,” St. Charles East first-year coach Katie Claussner said about winning the regional. “I swear I experienced every range of emotion in that game. It was just a great team win.”

Addie Schilb connected on both free throws with 3.6 seconds left in regulation to put the Saints up 68-65. Wheaton North junior Sara Abdul’s 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer tied the game and forced the first overtime.

Schilb canning the free throws was a clutch play, according to Claussner.

“I thought it was over when Abdul hit the three. She is a great player and our whole game plan was stopping her so I wish her nothing but the best,” the Saints coach said. “Addie hitting those two free throws at the end of regulation was big. If she hadn’t those, it would have been game over.”

Neither side could muster much offense in the first extra period, which ended with the score tied at 73-73.

The Saints took control in the second overtime. DiOrio sank her fifth trey of the night to open the scoring and put St. Charles East (19-12) up 76-73. The senior finished the night with 26 points. The Saints did not relinquish the lead.

The Saints also cashed in on free throws, making five of six attempts.

The Falcons offense took a blow in the extra period when Abdul, who also scored 26 points, fouled out. She joined Zoey Bohmer, another Wheaton North sparkplug, on the bench. Bohmer (16 points) fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Wheaton North (18-13) jumped to a 22-11 lead after the first quarter. A 10-1 St. Charles East run closed out the second quarter to put the Saints up 35-31 at halftime. The Falcons narrowed the margin to 50-49 at the end of the third quarter.

DiOrio broke the 1,000-point mark on a 3-pointer from the right corner early in the second quarter.

“It felt great.” DiOrio said “And it came off a pass from Alexis Maridis, who I have been playing with since third grade.”

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