Girls Basketball: D-C duo lights it up from three-point rangeDundee-Crown's Ali Sanders (11) and Carlin Faulkner (3) work up the court during the first quarter at Dundee Crown High School in Carpentersville, Ill., on Wednesday, November 16, 2011.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: December 12, 2011 8:31PM
Together, Dundee-Crown senior guards Ali Sanders and Carlin Faulkner made 51 three-pointers last season.
“We’ve gotten better,” said Faulkner, in a classic understatement.
This season, it wouldn’t be out of the question for them to obliterate that number. At any point either can go off with a barrage of long shots. The two have led the Chargers to a 2-0 start in the Valley Division of the Fox Valley Conference and 4-4 overall, as they get ready to host the 29th annual Charger Classic after tonight’s Fox Valley Valley game at Prairie Ridge.
“When they’re both hot, they’re hot,” Chargers coach Michelle Russell said. “And right now they’re both feeling pretty good.”
Faulkner already has 21 three-pointers, including five against Jacobs and four against Johnsburg, while averaging 13 points per game. Her season-high is 19 points.
“She’s been playing really well for us lately,” said Russell, who knows a little bit about scoring herself as she’s the school’s all-time scoring leader. “Her and Ali have given us a nice 1-2 punch out on the perimeter.”
Sanders, meanwhile, is averaging 14 points per game with nine three-pointers and a single-game high of 22. She was more of a known commodity coming into the season after leading the team in scoring each of the last two seasons, last year with a 12.0 average and in 2009-10 with a 9.5-point average. She made 20 treys last year, when Carlin made 31 3-pointers and averaged eight points a game.
Sanders, who has already committed to Florida Southern, has been to the supersectional level in the IHSA three-point shooting contest while Faulkner has made it to sectional.
So who’s better at the long-range shot? So far, it’s been Faulkner, but Sanders is very adept at sneaking inside the circle a few feet and getting wide-open two-pointers.
“Its really hard to say,” Russell said. “They both get a little streaky. When they’re both hot, I can’t say one is better than the other if it comes to that aspect.
“They both have points of their game where they’re a little stronger at. Carlin, definitely, her shooting is her strength.”
It’s not so much who’s better, but how they can make each other better.
“We kind of have a thing where we work with each other to get each other open,” Sanders said. “I’ll drive and dish it; she’ll drive and dish it to me.
“Normally defenses respect our dribble and our shots, so when one of us drive we attract a lot of help defense and leave the other open.”
There’s more to their game than offense, as well. Despite Sanders being 5-foot-7, she averages four rebounds. The 5-5 Faulkner is averaging three rebounds.
D-C has no abundance of height, with 5-10 Diamond Williams the only starter taller than 5-8. So it’s helping to have the outside threat.
“Our inside game has been pretty good,” Russell said. “The (outside) shooting is opening some things up inside for us.”
Bartlett top seed
Undefeated Bartlett (10-0), which hosts a key Upstate Eight Valley game against unbeaten Waubonsie Valley tonight, is seeded first at the Charger Classic.
The Hawks will be attempting to break the stranglehold Fenwick has on the tourney title. Fenwick has won five of the last six titles. Bartlett opens Dec. 26 against the host Chargers (8:30 p.m.).
“There definitely is a rivalry between us and Fenwick, but every team to us is so important to take down,” said Indiana-bound Bartlett forward Haley Videckis. “I’m psyched up to play at Dundee-Crown because I do believe we can take the win.
“Fremd, New Trier, Fenwick, there’s a lot of good teams.”
St. Charles North is the other area team in the tournament and gets the first shot at Fenwick at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 26.
Burlington Central (3-6) attempts to get back on track after three straight losses with a home Big Northern East game against North Boone, before going on to play in the McHenry Christmas tournament starting Friday ... Hampshire (4-6) tries to continue its recent hot streak after early season problems when it faces Neuqua Valley tonight at the Oswego tournament. The Whip-Purs have won three of their last four after starting 1-5. ... St. Edward (7-3) tries to establish a two-game winning streak tonight at home against formidable Nazareth Academy after going through a rough stretch of three losses in four games.