St. Viator tops Grayslake Central at Blenner Classic

If she wasn't making the pass to set up a basket. St. Viator's Allia von Schlegell seemed to be making the basket during St. Viator's game-winning rally on Wednesday night.

The sophomore guard, who had 18 points (four 3-pointers) and 6 assists, helped the Lions pull away from Grayslake Central late in the third quarter en route to a 62-46 victory on the second day of pool play of the 39th Blenner Classic at St. Viator's Cahill Gymnasium.

"What we talked about at halftime was really helpful," von Schlegell said. "Our coach (Jason Raymond) just said come back and steal the third quarter."

Von Schegell did her best to steal the show as she hit back-to-back 3-pointers that gave Viator a 47-34 lead with 29 seconds left in the third quarter. They came right after she made two nifty long passes that set up 3-pointers by Meghan Hayes and Mia Bergstrom, the St. Louis pledge who also finished with 18 points, four 3-pointers, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

"Allia has been coming on," Raymond said. "She is only a sophomore but she is really learning how to run a team. She has always been a great scorer (career-high is 20) but her assists have been picking up the last few games. It takes some time for a young player to learn the point guard position and get everyone else involved. And she is doing that and she is only going to get better as she goes along."

The Lions (6-8) are now 2-0 in their own eight-team event and will face St. Ignatius (9-3, 2-0) at 7 p.m. on Thursday to decide who advances to Friday's title game.

St. Viator opened up an 8-0 lead in less than four minutes, starting with Mia Bergstrom's 16-foot swish 40 seconds into the game.

Grace Gerdes-Grabowy (12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals) made a big drive from the top of the circle and drove all the way in for a layup and 4-0 lead.

Moments later, von Schlegell made a superb pass inside to Gerdes-Grabowy for a layup and 8-0 advantage with 4:16 left in the quarter.

The Lions held the Rams scoreless until Ava Henne drove the baseline for a 8-foot floater with 2:35 left.

"She's one of our three freshmen," said Rams coach Steve Ikenn, whose team (8-7) had won seven of its last eight games. "We're a young team but games like this pay off."

The Lions led 16-6 after one quarter.

The Rams got to within 23-17 with back-to-back putbacks from Dani Eckenstahker and Madison Hoffman (12 points, 6 rebounds).

Senior Molly Craig hit a driving 8-footer and the Viator senior (4 rebounds) followed with a 14-footer to give Viator a 29-19 lead. A steal by Henne and nifty move for a layup got the Rams to within 29-21 at intermission. They closed to within 33-30 midway through the third quarter.

"She (von Schlegell) got on fire and then they started hitting their 3s," Ikenn said. "You've got to tip your hat to them. Even when we had a hand in their face they were draining 3s (10 for the game)."

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