Central 52, Donovan 34
Central kicked off its 2021 girls basketball season in the win column, as the defense dominated in the second half at home against Donovan on Tuesday.
Donovan took advantage of Central’s first-game jitters by taking a 22-19 halftime lead, but it was the Comets who soared back by playing tough defense. By forcing turnovers and getting key rebounds, Central was able to overcome its first-half deficit to win by double digits.
The Wildcats held strong for most of three quarters and led 34-30 in the third. However, that quickly evaporated as Central's Kamryn Grice exploded in the second half to help the Comets finish the game on a 22-4 run. Grice scored 18 of her 24 total points in the second half.
“Grice had a really slow first half, and I know she can be pretty hard on herself, especially after missing some bunny shots in the first quarter, but we just kept telling her to keep shooting,” Central head coach Rebecca Swigert-Fenton said. “And she just looked so much more comfortable in the second half, and so I was really excited for her.”
Swigert-Fenton credited the team’s second-half defense to its ability to get more comfortable on the court in the first game of the season.
“We definitely had the first-game jitters, which was nice because it made it feel like a normal year,” Swigert-Fenton said. “I thought we got more comfortable in the second half, and we started to put some pressure on defense, which kind of changed things for us.”
Donovan fell to 0-2 in the Wildcats' first season co-opping with St. Anne. Coach Lane Walters said his team showed good chemistry on both ends of the floor before running out of steam on the road.
“We played a great first half — broke their press, moved the ball well, played great defense — and then third quarter came, and turnovers kind of plagued us, and we ran out of gas,” Walters said.
Milford 43, Cissna Park 27
Milford clamped down on defense early and held Cissna Park to 10 points at halftime. The Bearcats went on to outscore the Timberwolves in each of the first three quarters before going on to win in double figures.
Abbey Tovey poured in four points each quarter to lead the Bearcats with 16 points. Anna Hagan was the team’s second highest scorer with eight points.
Mikayla Knake finished as the primary scorer for Cissna Park, totaling 17 of the Timberwolves 27 total points. Kristen Walder, Emma Morrical and Regan King hit the glass and snagged eight rebounds each.
Herscher 67, Dwight 57 (OT)
Herscher’s bench helped the Tigers overcome some foul trouble in the first half of their season opener. Tied at 52 at the end of the fourth quarter, Herscher went on to outscore the Trojans 15-5 in overtime.
Logan Lunsford led the Tigers with 29 points, followed by Trey Schwarzkopf (20 points) and Bascom Jackson (11 points).
The Trojans also had three players finish in double figures, despite their limited scoring in overtime. Brandon Ceylor totaled 15 points for a team lead, Wyatt Thompson finished right behind with 14 points, and Trent Tilley scored 11, 9 of which came from deep.
Kankakee Community College 56, Danville Community College 33
The Cavaliers turned up their defense in the second half. Holding a 25-24 lead at halftime, KCC held Danville to just 9 second-half points to win by an overwhelming margin.
Brandi Hudson continued her hot start to the season, totaling a game-high 31 points (10-14 FG) and nine rebounds. Madison Allen crashed the offensive glass with a team-high five offensive rebounds and two blocks.