Zobel prize: Lake Zurich ousts Warren
When your center is shooting 3-pointers and landing them, look out.
Lake Zurich's 6-foot-1 McKenna Zobel landed two 3s in the first half of Thursday night's Class 4A Fremd sectional final. Still, her Bears trailed 12-5 in the second quarter. And 18-13 late in the third quarter to 25-game-winner Warren.
In fact, Lake Zurich led just once on Zobel's first 3-pointer in the opening half. Zobel scored another bucket in the fourth quarter, giving the Bears a one-point lead.
When Warren's Kaylen Dickson drained a long 3 just after the final buzzer sounded, seventh-seeded Lake Zurich celebrated. The Bears prevailed 27-24, propelling them to their third trip to the Elite Eight in school history.
"This wasn't pretty," Lake Zurich coach Chris Bennett said. "Warren has such great players. But we did such a good job of getting hands in their faces."
Top-seeded Warren finished 25-7. Lake Zurich improved to 20-10 with its 10th win in 11 games and advanced to Monday's 7 p.m. Hersey supersectional against Maine West.
Lake Zurich and Warren, which split two games during North Suburban Conference action, were tied 5-5 after a quarter. Warren clung to a 12-10 advantage at halftime.
"We knew they wanted to shut down Ella (Gilbertson) tonight," said Zobel, who finished with a game-high 14 points. "She hit all of those 3s the last time we played them. It was up to me and Maddy (Piggott). I was so amazed with our defense tonight. I also knew at halftime that this was our game to win."
Dana Lundtveit (8 points) and Dickson (9 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals) helped Warren build an 18-13 lead in the third quarter. Gilbertson bit into that lead when she landed her lone 3-pointer late in the third.
"We know Warren is a great team," Piggott said. "But we played pretty good defense. We just struggled to find the hoop. I was really mad at myself at halftime."
Lake Zurich was the lone club to score in double figures in any quarter. It came in the decisive fourth. Point guard Grace Kinsey scored her only basket - a bank-shot 3 - to pull her team within 22-21.
One of Lake Zurich's unsung heroes was Anna Biergans. She got to the hoop around several Warren defenders and scored her only basket to put Lake Zurich up 25-22 late.
"Maddie and Biergans don't get much publicity," Bennett said. "But they are the ones getting the rebounds for us."
Warren star Jordyn Hughes scored on a tough flip shot in the opening quarter, but it was her lone basket of the night.