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Girls Basketball: De La Salle’s run undone by Montini

Rainey Kuykendall Montini goes hoop as Chardanae Hamilt(50) DeLaSalle defends. | JCunningham/For Sun-Times Medi ORG XMIT: photo-jon@comcast.net

Rainey Kuykendall of Montini goes to the hoop as Chardanae Hamilton (50) DeLaSalle defends. | Jon Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media ORG XMIT: photo-jon@comcast.net

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Updated: April 5, 2014 6:21AM



Winning doesn’t have to be pretty. It just has to be winning.

“(Monday night) we weren’t very crisp with what we did,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “But we found a way to win and that’s OK. I’d rather win like that than lose like that.”

Montini struggled early against De La Salle’s zone and led just 11-7 with under two minutes to play in the first quarter. But the Broncos finished the first half with a 20-3 flurry en route to a 59-27 victory over the Meteors in the Class 3A Hinsdale Supersectional.

Montini (32-2) will face Burlington Central (30-4) in a Class 3A state semifinal Friday at Redbird Arena in Normal.

Nichols knows the Broncos will have to play better to avoid the same fate as last year when they lost to Vernon Hills in their state semifinal.

“I can’t explain it because against Marshall (in the sectional final) we played really, really well,” Nichols said. “We were kind of sloppy in every phase of the game (Monday). It seems like every time we come to a supersectional we haven’t been very good.

“We just didn’t move the ball,” he added. “We didn’t penetrate. We wanted to get the ball inside. We don’t do a good job of looking at that right now. But were going to need to if we want to win this thing. We better look inside a little bit and trust those kids.”

Six-foot-1 forward Rainey Kuykendall did her part, leading Montini with 13 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots. Guard Lea Kerstein also scored 13 points, including three three-pointers, and Kelly Karlis added nine.

“The great thing about this team is you don’t rely on one person,” said Kateri Stone, who was held to three points. “If one of us has an off night — like I think I had an off night (Monday) — it’s nice to be able to rely on my teammates.

Chardanae Hamilton had nine points, Akilah Fletcher added eight and Taylor Torrence had six for De La Salle (18-7), which opened the second half on a 12-5 surge to close to within 36-22. But Montini answered with a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach.

“I definitely feel we came out more aggressively in the second half,” Fletcher said. “I wish we could have come out the same way at the start. I definitely feel like we wouldn’t have lost by as much if we had come out at the start being aggressive and hustling and playing tighter defense.”

Being the first De La Salle team — boys or girls — to reach the supersectional since 1983 was little consolation.

“It’s obviously bittersweet,” Torrence said.



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