Girls Basketball: De La Salle holds off Phillips for sectional title
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media February 27, 2014 9:30PM
Updated: February 27, 2014 10:30PM
Phillips’ Sheree English nearly was unstoppable in the third quarter
Thursday night against De La Salle. English torched the nets from all over, scoring 14 points and assisting Mykhal Suide for the team’s only other basket in the frame.
It still wasn’t enough.
Akilah Fletcher answered with 17 points and Alesia Stewart added 16 as De La Salle outlasted Phillips 51-45 for the Class 3A Solorio Sectional championship, securing the program’s first sectional title.
“I definitely didn’t think this would come in the first year of me taking over the program,” De La Salle coach John Smith said. “It’s great to make history. It’s a good group of ladies to make history with.”
The Meteors advance to play Montini at 6 p.m. Monday in the Hinsdale Central Supersectional with a trip to the state semifinals on the line.
English finished with a game-high 26 points but scored just two in the fourth as Fletcher and consistent double-teams shadowed her on the perimeter.
“I tried to shut her down and make sure she didn’t get any more open shots,” said Fletcher, who ripped down 13 rebounds. “We needed to stop helping and mainly focus on her because she’s the No. 1 girl.”
De La Salle led 33-23 midway through the third after Fletcher went coast to coast for a layup. English responded with a barrage and gave Phillips a 39-38 lead on a bucket to open the fourth quarter, her last two points of the contest.
“In the fourth quarter we actually just ran two people at (English),” Smith said. “We said, ‘Hey, we’re going to let somebody else beat us.’ We made that adjustment and it worked.”
Kelsey Herrera added nine points and Chardanae Hamilton chipped in nine rebounds and four blocks for De La Salle (18-6).
Breanda Howell scored eight points and Courtnee Williams seven for Phillips (17-18). English chipped in eight rebounds and five steals.
Phillips coach Larry Stokes called English “the most prolific scorer” he’s ever seen at the school. She averaged 26.6 points per game this season.
“We played hard, but we let one get away,” Stokes said.