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South Elgin’s seniors have some fun
By Brian Schaumburg | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 2/2/2013 6:04 PM

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Senior nights are supposed to be fun.

The South Elgin girls basketball team certainly enjoyed Saturday afternoon.

The Storm held East Aurora to 7 first-half points, including scoreless in the second quarter, led by 30 at halftime and cruised to a 55-34 Upstate Eight Valley Division victory in South Elgin.

“That was a fun game to play. We were all kind of excited,” said South Elgin senior Nell Wentling, who led the Storm with 13 points. “Getting to celebrate each other is cool and I think it brought a lot of energy and a lot of motivation.”

The Storm (15-10, 6-6) never trailed and the game was only tied at 2-2. Five different player scored as South Elgin ran out to a 12-2 lead. Kennede Miller scored all 8 of her points in the first quarter, helping the Storm to a 20-7 lead.

South Elgin, which lost to East Aurora by 10 earlier in the season, put the game away in the second quarter. The Storm’s pressure defense forced East Aurora into 14 turnovers. The Tomcats went 0-for-5 from the floor and did not score in the quarter. Wentling scored 7 points in the quarter as South Elgin took a 37-7 lead into the break.

“They went to their bench and were a little frustrated with our defense. We were able to take advantage of it,” Storm coach Tim Prendergast said of the second quarter. “I wanted to put them away in the first half. I thought, at the half, the game was over.”

South Elgin increased its lead to 36, 43-7, before the Tomcats finally scored again with 3:58 remaining on a Desiree Rhodes basket. East Aurora did go on a 13-0 run to get within 45-25 with 6:44 remaining in the game, but didn’t get any closer than 19.

Tyshee Towner led the Tomcats with 20 points, 16 in the second half.

Seniors Kara Rodriguez added 8 points and 8 rebounds and Amanda Smogolski had 6 points for the Storm. Savannah Uveges added 7 points.

“Senior night, as a coach, it’s fun, but it’s also kind of a distraction,” Prendergast said. “Any time you can get a win on senior night, that’s huge.”

The Storm finished in fourth place in the Valley Division and will host Batavia in Thursday’s UEC crossover game.