Rogers reaches 1,000, Titans pursue Wheaton North hoops title

Sidney Rogers knew exactly where she stood as she took the shot.

Beyond the 3-point line at the top of the key, yes, but also sitting on 997 career points.

The Glenbrook South senior point guard lined it up and drilled it. As the basketball rippled the net, the Titans bench erupted in cheers, as did the Glenbrook South fans across the court.

Rogers liked the accomplishment and loved the eventual result, a 71-54 victory Tuesday over West Aurora at Wheaton North's 38th annual Bill Neibch Holiday Classic.

  Glenbrook South's Sidney Rogers attempts a layup between West Aurora's Shiane Johnson, left, and Nia Evans during Tuesday's game at the 38th annual Bill Neibch Holiday Classic at Wheaton North. Joe Lewnard/

"Obviously, it's a great milestone and I'll remember it, but I feel in the long span it doesn't really mean much, to be honest. I think it's just like a combination of all the work and stuff that I've put in here. And to see the 1,000 points, it's great," said Rogers, whose 23 points led four Glenbrook South players in double figures.

Scoring 22 points after halftime, Rogers hit that 3 and went 6-for-6 from the foul line during a 10-0 run to claim victory for No. 1 seed Glenbrook South (13-2).

Gina Davorija scored 17 points, Chloe Gonzalez scored 13 and center Anna Rosenberger scored 12 points with 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.

"To be honest, Sidney didn't even care about getting 1,000. She really just wants to win, she wants her teammates to have a great time. This is just a byproduct of her hard work, her effort, her energy," said Titans coach Scott Nemecek.

"Honestly, I think her coaches and teammates wanted her to get 1,000 more than she did. That just speaks to the kind of character she has. Really, she just wants to win and advance to the next round. We're thrilled for her, to say the least."

  Glenbrook South's Gina Davorija, right, attempts an underhand reverse layup against West Aurora during Tuesday's game at the 38th annual Bill Neibch Holiday Classic at Wheaton North. Joe Lewnard/

Behind Aspen Weeks' six 3-pointers and a game-high 27 points, West Aurora (7-7) played better than a 17-point deficit. Still, Glenbrook South, the defending tournament champion seeking its seventh Neibch title, advanced to Wednesday's game against No. 4 seed Downers Grove North.

Wednesday's other semifinal was between upset-minded Schaumburg and No. 2 seed Waubonsie Valley. The championship is 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Wheaton North.

The Titans' six tournament titles, dating to 1996, follow only Hinsdale Central's seven.

"We started coming here when Howie Romanek was the coach back in the late '80s," Nemecek said. "So we may have been coming as long as the tournament's been around. He's been bringing them here, and then Coach Weis (Steve Weissenstein) was bringing them here ... We're not leaving.

"We have a lot of history here, and they run a phenomenal tournament. The competition is excellent, and it's teams we don't normally play, so you just can't beat it. So we're going to keep coming here forever."

  Glenbrook South's Chloe Gonzalez, left, hits a three-point shot as West Aurora's Kaidyn King defends during Tuesday's game at the 38th annual Bill Neibch Holiday Classic at Wheaton North. Joe Lewnard/

That appeared to be fine for Davorija, who helped Glenbrook South get off to a 10-0 lead and scored 13 points in the first quarter before West Aurora crept within 23-15.

Asked after the game about that fast start, the sophomore guard mentioned the word "energy" four times. Glenbrook South needed it to stay ahead of the Blackhawks and the rest of the field.

The emphasis entering the tournament, Davorija said, was "that we were defending champs and we were seeded number one and everybody was going to try and come at us, but we had to stay calm and stay humble."

Weeks made that calm part difficult. Though West Aurora never led, her 20 first-half points got the Blackhawks back into the game.

"Very entertaining, and a lot of fun, but kind of nerve-wracking, too," Nemecek said.

Shifting to a zone defense with junior Paige Simon guarding Weeks in what Nemecek said approximated a box-and-one scheme, the Blackhawks' 5-foot-7 senior was limited to 7 third quarter points and none in the fourth.

  Glenbrook South's Anna Rosenberger, right, gets fouled by West Aurora's Bibi Mercado during Tuesday's game at the the 38th annual Bill Neibch Holiday Classic at Wheaton North. Joe Lewnard/

After Glenbrook South led 35-31 at halftime, twice in the third quarter West Aurora pulled within 2 points and once within 1, at 43-42.

Each time, whether by a 3-pointer, free throws or a drive down the lane, Rogers pushed the Blackhawks back. She finally broke them in the last 38 seconds of the third quarter on a conventional three-point play, then an assist to Gonzalez inside for a 57-48 Titans lead entering the fourth.

Rogers' 998th, 999th and 1,000th points gave Glenbrook South a 64-52 lead with 3:14 left to play.

"I knew I needed 3 more, but I wasn't going to try and force it," said Rogers, up to 1,006 points entering Wednesday.

  Glenbrook South girls basketball coach Scott Nemecek leads the Titans during Tuesday's game against West Aurora at the 38th annual Bill Neibch Holiday Classic at Wheaton North. Joe Lewnard/

The Washington (St. Louis) University recruit took ownership of the situation Tuesday, when necessary.

After playing in every Titans game in a four-year varsity career, the point guard has learned when it's necessary.

"Obviously, I have complete trust in my team, but at some points I'm just like, OK, I have an open shot, I'll take it," Rogers said.

"It's nothing like I'm going to force a not-open shot for me to just get the points, so I think all those points came at a really good time."

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