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Westminster Christian crowned NAC tourney champ
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Published: 1/26/2013 10:06 PM

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The Westminster Christian girls basketball team is clearly ready for another deep run into the Class 1A postseason.

The Warriors rolled through the competition at the Northeastern Athletic Conference Tournament, beating Christian Liberty 46-25 in the semifinals on Saturday and then downing Alden-Hebron 47-28 in the championship game of the league meeting, which was played at Luther North in Chicago.

Claire Speweik scored 12 points and had 11 rebounds and McKaila Hays added 10 points in the win over Christian Liberty, while Hays had 17 points and 6 steals and Maddie Versluys 10 points and 10 rebounds in the title game. Speweik also added 8 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game.

Westminster gave up only 57 points in the three NAC tourney games.

“We had to earn them today,” said Westminster coach Ken Flickinger. “Christian Liberty played tough. It was just 22-19 at the half and then our defense took over. Then we came out against Alden-Hebron with a lot of energy and established the tempo.”

Westminster Christian (20-4), which advanced to a sectional championship game last year, will host Ottawa Marquette on Tuesday in nonconference play then close out the NAC season at Keith School next Friday. The Warriors are the No. 1 seed in the Class 1A Harvest Christian regional beginning Feb. 4, and Westminster hosts a Class 1A sectional.

Harvest wins 2: After losing to Alden-Hebron in the first round of the NAC Tournament on Friday, Harvest Christian came back with two wins Saturday to take fifth place in the tournament. The Lions downed Luther North 45-36 behind a big 27-point performance from Kylee Knox, who nailed five 3-pointers. Morgan Lockwood added 9 points and 7 rebounds, while Sarah Kott had 9 rebounds, Knox 8 and Rachel Oostdyk 7. Knox also had 4 assists. Harvest (5-19) then beat IMSA 37-30 as Carol Kauffman and Kott each had 10 points and Knox 9.

“The girls really worked together and did a nice job of sharing the ball,” said Harvest coach Kelly Friestad of the win over IMSA. “We had much better ball movement than usual and it was great to see more balanced scoring. Carol and Sarah made some big shots.

Bartlett 60, Oswego East 45: Alyssa Hernandez scored 11 points to lead a balanced Bartlett attack in this nonconference win. Ally Giampapa had 9 points for the Hawks (14-11) and Kaitlyn Brohan added 8.

Cary-Grove 37, McHenry 21: Joslyn Nicholson had 13 points and Katie Barker added 9 to lead the Trojans (17-6, 8-1) to a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win. Olivia Jakubicek had 12 rebounds for Cary-Grove, which won its eighth in a row.

Huntley 56, Jacobs 21: Sam Andrews hit for 20 points and Ali Andrews had 16 to lead the Red Raiders (19-4, 9-1) in the FVC Valley. It was Huntley’s fifth straight win. Payton Berg had 10 points to lead Jacobs (2-19, 2-7).

CL South 41, Prairie Ridge 37: Rachel Rasmussen had 16 points to lead the Gators (18-6, 6-3) to an FVC Valley win.

Johnsburg 52, Hampshire 47: Jen Dumoulin scored 17 points and Emma Benoit added 15 for Hampshire (9-13, 4-5) in the FVC Fox.

St. Charles North 67, Elgin 40: Kristin Tayag had 14 points and Maggie Powers added 8 for Elgin (8-16, 1-10) in the Upstate Eight River.

Geneva 57, Larkin 28: Amber McGhee had 12 points and Quixmia Washington scored 8 for Larkin (3-21, 1-9) in the UEC River.

Neuqua Valley 49, South Elgin 31: Kennede Miller had 11 points and Kara Rodriguez added 7 for South Elgin (14-11, 5-6) in the UEC Valley.

John Radtke contributed to this report