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Crete-Monee's #11 Marsha Howard fights for the ball with teammate #12 Ashley Henry and Joliet West's #30 Vicky Orasco- Joseph P. Meier/Sun-Times
Ashley Henry and Marsha Howard tirelessly attacked the glass for No. 25 Crete-Monee in the opener of the T.F. South Holiday Tournament on Wednesday.
The 6-foot duo seemed to grab every meaningful carom to lead their team’s 36-rebound effort. Henry finished with 14 points and 10 boards and Howard chipped in nine points and 12 rebounds as the Warriors outlasted Joliet West 47-44 after taking an early 15-point lead.
The pair should continue to harass the glass for the foreseeable future. Henry is a junior and Howard a sophomore.
“We came out and crushed the boards,” Crete-Monee coach Christina Cobbins said. “Ashley is a kid that is going to get the job done by any means necessary. We came out of the half and I had a small chat with her and let her know it’s going to come down to what you do or don’t do. I told her she needed to carry the team, and that’s exactly what she did.”
Junior point guard Alexia DeBose chipped in 12 points and six-foot freshman Sara Humphrey added 10 for the Warriors (13-1).
Valencia Chandler scored 13 points off the bench for West (3-6), with most of those coming in a pivotal third-quarter stretch that kept the Tigers alive. Down 32-22, Chandler put in 10 consecutive points for her team, trimming Crete-Monee’s lead 34-32 on a three-pointer from the right side of the floor.
“We knew coming in that (Crete-Monee) started really tall and was really aggressive on the boards,” West coach Kevin Michaels said. “We started slow and didn’t pick up our intensity until the second half.”
West’s freshman sharpshooter Monica Barefield buried a pair of deep three-pointers and finished with 10 points. She had a chance to tie the game with two seconds left in the fourth quarter, but her three sailed just long off the iron.