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An exciting two-point affair at the half turned into a runaway championship for No. 25 Crete-Monee at the T.F. South Holiday Tournament on Saturday.
Marsha Howard poured in 16 points and 14 rebounds and Ashley Henry netted eight points and nine rebounds for the Warriors in a 57-36 victory over Bradley-Bourbonnais.
Howard and Henry continued their dominance in the paint and were the primary reason the Warriors outrebounded Bradley 38-25. The pair earned All-Tournament honors along with freshman Sarah Humphrey (11 points).
“Usually it’s Henry getting the boards; she’s the board master,” Howard said. “She got in my ear and told me it had to be both of us together.”
“We like to show off our two-man game,” Henry added. “We want to box out and dominate the glass.”
Crete-Monee (16-1) outscored Bradley 30-11 in the second half after a nip-and-tuck start that saw three lead changes. However, the size of the Warriors and a late full court press seemed to wear down Bradley as the contest progressed.
“The game isn’t about winning,” Howard said. “It’s about sticking together and playing hard. The winning takes care of itself.”
Freshman Jasmine Elliot led Bradley (7-7) with 17 points and eight rebounds and junior Emily Poremba chipped in seven points. Both garnered All-Tournament nods.
Out of the gate, Crete-Monee freshman Lindzy Cox was on fire, burying her first two three-pointers for an 8-2 Warriors lead. Cox finished 4-for-6 from behind the arc for 12 points.
Bradley battled back to take a 16-14 lead on a jumper from Emily Blanchette, but Humphrey answered with a smooth baseline bucket.
“(Humphrey) used to be just a three-point shooter,” Henry said of her freshman teammate. “Now she’s penetrating, boxing out, grabbing boards. She’s growing day-by-day.”
That’s scary news for the opposition. Crete-Monee starts two juniors, a sophomore and two freshman.
T.F. South Holiday Tournament Roundup
Thornwood 58, Eisenhower 42
Aliyah Owens (All-Tournament) and Myah Gaston chipped in 12 points apiece for Thornwood (6-5) in the third-place game. All-Tournament selection Shavonne Lewis led Eisenhower (6-10) with 19 points.
Shepard 66, T.F. South 60 (O.T.)
All-Tournament selection Myrissha Mitchell scored five points in overtime and led Shepard (8-10) with 21 points in the fifth-place game. Kaitlin Togtman netted 24 points with five three-pointers for T.F. South (4-10).
Joliet West 66, Thornridge 36
Aaliyah Stepney and Kailey Foster score nine points each for Joliet West (4-8) in the seventh-place game. Thornridge, still looking for its first win, received nine points from TahSherria Duncan.