Girls basketball: ACC falls to defending state champion Montini
Updated: January 6, 2012 11:39PM
Aurora Central Catholic’s girls held down two-time defending state champion Montini in the early going on their home court Friday, but the Broncos outrebounded and pressured the Chargers enough to pull away for a convincing 54-34 victory.
ACC held Montini scoreless for a total of six and a half minutes of the first, but the Broncos rode a streak of eight quick points (including two treys) by Rainey Kuykendall to a slim 10-7 margin after one period. Montini pressed the Chargers into five turnovers, but also committed five of its own.
The Broncos stretched the lead to 28-18 by the half as Jasmine Lumpkin was able to drive the ACC zone for six points, and SIU recruit Tianna Brown led an 18-9 rebounding edge for Montini. Also key was a 5-0 advantage in offensive boards for the Broncos. The Chargers were held to 35 percent shooting, but hit only one of nine from long range.
Jackie Cardona (game high 18 points) was able to work the lane for 11 points, and Tesa Alderman broke the Montini press twice for layups.
“The last time we could not handle their press and they beat us by over 30,” said Charger coach Mark Fitzgerald. “We committed that that wasn’t going to happen again. We had to close out on some of their good shooters, so that’s why we went to the zone.”
Although ACC trimmed the lead to 29-22 on a trey by Alex DeCraene, it would get no closer as the Broncos pounded the offensive glass seven times in the third. Lumpkin disrupted the Chargers at the top of the zone and scored on a steal for a 38-26 lead after three.
“Coach said we needed to get up on defense and get deflections and tips, so I tried to do that,” said Lumpkin. “We’re not really there yet with the defense, but we’ll get there.”
Montini (17-4, 5-0 Suburban Christian Blue) was able to get more fresh players into the rotation and continued to pull away to the final margin. Kateri Stone scored 13 of her 15 team high points after intermission. The Broncos shot only 34 percent as a team, and were 26 percent (6-23) from beyond the arc.
A telling stat had the Chargers shooting 30 percent, but only 1-for-16 from three point territory.
Central continues one of its best seasons at 14-5 (2-3 SCC Blue).