June 22, 2024

Girls basketball: St. Charles East uses double OT to beat Wheaton North and capture regional title

Senior Lexi DiOrio scores 1,000 career point in win

DEKALB – St. Charles East won a regional crown with a hard-fought 85-76 double-overtime victory over Wheaton North on Feb. 15 in the Class 4A DeKalb Regional championship game.

To make the night more memorable, Saints senior Lexi DiOrio scored the 1,000th point of her high school career in the second quarter.

“It’s awesome,” St. Charles East first-year coach Katie Claussner said about winning the regional. “I swear I experienced every range of emotion in that game. It was just a great team win.”

St. Charles East (19-12) faced a familiar DuKane Conference foe – Batavia – on Tuesday in a Batavia Sectional semifinal. Batavia is the top-seeded team in the sectional. St. Charles East is the fifth seed.

Against Wheaton North, Addie Schilb connected on two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to play in regulation to put the Saints up 68-65.

Wheaton North junior Sara Abdul’s 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer tied the game and forced the first overtime.

Schilb hitting the free throws was clutch, Claussner said.

“I thought it was over when Abdul hit the three,” Claussner said. “She is a great player and our whole game plan was stopping her, so I wish her nothing but the best. Addie hitting those two free throws at the end of regulation was big. If she hadn’t hit those, it would have been game over.”

Neither side could muster much offense in the first extra period, which ended with the score tied 73-73.

The Saints took control in the second overtime. DiOrio sank her fifth 3-pointer of the night to put St. Charles East up 76-73.

DiOrio, a senior, finished with 26 points.

St. Charles East did not relinquish the lead.

The Saints also cashed in on free throws, making five of six attempts in the second overtime.

The Falcons’ offense suffered a blow in the extra period when Abdul, who scored 26 points, fouled out. She joined Zoey Bohmer, another Wheaton North spark plug, on the bench. Bohmer (16 points) fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Wheaton North (18-13) jumped out to a 22-11 lead after the first quarter.

A 10-1 run by St Charles East closed out the second quarter and put the Saints up 35-31 at halftime.

The Falcons narrowed the lead to 50-49 at the end of the third quarter.

DiOrio broke the 1,000-point mark on a 3-pointer from the right corner early in the second quarter.

“It felt great.” DiOrio said. “And it came off a pass from Alexis Maridis who I have been playing with since third grade.”

Jared Birchfield – Shaw Local News Network correspondent

Jared Birchfield is a contributor to Shaw Local News Network