Girls Basketball: Morgan Tuck powers Bolingbrook past H-F
Updated: January 5, 2012 10:19PM
Morgan Tuck had 41 points and 14 rebounds, guards Keiera Ray and Allie Hill combined for 30 points and Bolingbrook was a respectable 9-for-22 from three-point range Thursday in a SouthWest Suburban Blue clash with visiting Homewood-Flossmoor.
So why were there some sad faces on the Bolingbrook bench after the No. 2 Raiders crushed the No. 20 Vikings 90-61?
“It’s good to play good offense, but our main focus has always been defense, even before I got here,” Tuck said. “So giving up 60 points is not good.”
Bolingbrook (10-1 overall) improved to 3-0 in conference play by breaking open a 39-26 game at halftime with a 32-11 third-quarter blitz. But Homewood-Flossmoor got some body punches in, hitting 8-for-14 from distance and getting 25 points from Western Illinois-bound guard Charnelle Reed.
“We worked on offensive game this week and it was good to see it work,” Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith said. “But it was a little disappointing on the defensive end. Everybody knows Bolingbrook is a defensive team and we’re going to bring the defensive intensity.
“Today we were going to try to outscore them, and they did a great job of it,” he added. “But that’s not our brand of basketball. That’s not going to get us to the top. It was nice to see the three-point shots going in, the inside game, the outside shots, free throws were going in. But we forgot to play defense.”
Nonetheless, it was hard to find fault in Tuck’s game. The 6-foot-2 Connecticut recruit had 21 points at halftime, added 13 during the third-quarter explosion and settled for seven more in the fourth quarter before exiting. Tuck also added five assists and showed her range by hitting a three-pointer late.
“Morgan’s pretty good,” Smith said. “There’s no doubt Morgan is probably one of the best players in the country, not just here. Morgan can score all kind of ways, she can rebound and she can do a lot. She’s a winner, and that’s what they want at Connecticut.”
But even Tuck wasn’t completely satisfied with her team’s defensive effort.
“Our offense was good today,” she said. “It hasn’t been that good in a game for a long time. Defense is a lot of pride and not letting the person in front of you score. But we won, so that’s not too bad. But defense is something we got to work on.”
Ray scored 18 points and Hill came back after suffering a bloody nose early in the game to add 12 for the Raiders. Jaiveonna Norris scored 12 points for Homewood-Flossmoor (12-6, 3-2), Lauren Parker added 11 and Amena Brent fought through foul trouble to finish with seven points and five rebounds.
“Our girls played hard the whole game,” Homewood-Flossmoor coach Dana Noble said. “They battled the whole time. We didn’t stop playing until the end of the game. When you go out trying to compete and play hard, you’re going to give up some points.
“We tried taking away the paint, but we were a little slow getting back to the weakside and they hit some three-pointers against us,” he added. “And we made some silly turnovers in the first half and against them you can’t make turnovers.
“We need to play a very good basketball game to compete with them, just like everybody does,” Noble said.