WHEATON – Erin Stack knew St. Charles North needed a momentum boost entering the locker room down three points at the half.
Stack, a North Stars senior, ultimately helped facilitate it in helping them prevail over Wheaton Warrenville South 43-34 on Friday.
“If we didn’t, it wasn’t going to look too great in the second half,” said Stack, who had 12 points and five rebounds.
Stack hit a crucial three-pointer to close the third quarter to give the North Stars a five point lead entering the final quarter. Moments later, Stack followed it up with a tough rebound and three-point play to push the lead to eight.
Stack and company didn’t look back.
“It could’ve been anyone with those plays, but it happened to be me,” Stack continued.
“I thought Erin Stack played a tremendous game today,” North Stars coach Mike Tomczak said. “I thought she was under control; she had a voice out there. She was keeping her teammates calm. She was doing what she could do inside and out. Huge, huge game from Erin.”
North Stars third-year guard Alyssa Hughes piloted the North Stars through the fourth quarter with clutch free throws. Hughes, who had 18 points, went 6-of-7 from the line to close it out.
“She plays like a senior, doesn’t she?” Tomczak said. “She really and truly does and I think that’s a benefit of having so many minutes freshman year and sophomore year. She doesn’t play like a junior. It makes me smile to think we’ve got her for a whole another year after this. It is a luxury to have, somebody who can knock down free throws at the end of the game like that.”
Hughes is “one of the hardest working players” Stack knows.
“She does a good job. She looks for her shot; she looks for everyone else’s shot. She does a good job getting [the ball] to me because it’s hard for teams to stop both of us,” Stack said.
The North Stars (5-1, 1-0) also received boosts from Regan Sipla (six points, two rebounds), Morgan Klug (four points, six rebounds) and Katrina Stack (three points, three rebounds).
The Tigers (4-1, 0-1) were paced by Lily Huntzinger’s 12 points and six rebounds. Emily Troia had eight points and two rebounds, while Hannah Struebing had four points.
“…We had just great effort by all the kids. [Troia], our freshman, hit some big shots at key times,” Tigers coach Rob Kroehnke said. “I thought Hannah Struebing did a nice job. She played strong inside. So, if we can get [all] that effort, we’ll figure out how to score. But, if you can’t get that effort, you’re in big trouble.”