Glenbard South going downstate for first time
Glenbard South will play on the final day of the girls basketball season for the first time in school history.
"It's an awesome feeling," Raiders senior forward Ally Daca said. " ... It's overwhelming. It's so exciting."
The Raiders advanced to the Class 3A semifinals this weekend with a resounding 48-33 victory against Carmel in a supersectional Monday at Elgin Community College. The Raiders (29-3) will play at 11 a.m. Friday against Peoria Richwoods.
"Amazing," added Raiders senior guard Mady Carli. "It's an amazing feel. ... We worked so hard all year and the past two years for it, so it's amazing."
As the No. 6 seed in the Woodstock North sectional, Carmel (17-16) needed a couple of upset victories just to reach the supersectional. Glenbard South made sure it wouldn't be the next victim, jumping out to a 19-5 lead after one quarter.
"Against a team like that, they're very deliberate on offense," Carmel coach Ben Berg said. "They play great half-court man-to-man defense. You get down 15 after one quarter, that makes it really, really hard. Proud of my girls, they never quit.
"Every time we had a chance to maybe push into the lead a little bit, then they'd extend it back out. We'd get it to 12, they'd extend it back out. Credit to them. I mean, they're really good, well deserving, will represent this supersectional well downstate."
The Raiders didn't see their early outburst coming.
"We were not expecting that (big lead)," Daca said. "Collectively as a team we knew we had to stay in it and we had to keep calm and we had to play our game and couldn't get under the pressure."
Shooting played a big role in the first half's outcome. The Raiders made 8 of 13 shots, the Corsairs just 3 of 19.
"We watched film on Carmel," Raiders coach Morgan Kasperek said. "They incredibly great defensive team. They're tough physically, so I was worried. I knew they didn't have the greatest record in the world, but, man, they play in the best conference (the East Suburban Catholic) in the state, so that is not something you can look at."
Maggie Bair led the Raiders with 28 points, half of them in the first quarter.
"She's the real deal," Berg said. "She's a handful. Not only can she shoot 3s, she can take you off the dribble. And she was taking smaller girls off the dribble too. She's a tough handle. Whoever they play against, they're going to have their hands full against her."
When Bair and Carli went to the bench early in the second quarter with two fouls apiece, the Raiders had reason for concern.
"But then Ally Daca just stepped up and played a great game," Kasperek said. "That's a lot of pressure on her, and she did wonderfully."
"I knew that I kind of had to step up and be a teammate, and I knew my teammates would look for me on the inside and they did a great job of passing inside to me," added Daca, who stepped up with 13 points.
Trailing 26-9 at halftime, the Corsairs tried to change the momentum, cutting their deficit to 13 with a couple of turnovers and baskets. Bair answered with a three-point play and then two more free throws, and just like that the lead was back to 18.
"We slowed it down," said Carli, pausing as the Glenbard South crowd roared while Kasperek took her turn at cutting down the net, "We tried not to let the momentum change. We tried to take it over again."
They did, building the lead up to 21 points later in the third quarter and never letting Carmel get closer than 15 points again.