CARPENTERSVILLE – Deerfield’s Aubrey Galvan wanted to change her vantage point at the Class 3A supersectional for her sophomore season.
After a stellar freshman season, Galvan, a pure hoops fan, attended the Class 3A Dundee-Crown Supersectional. The Warriors lost to defending state champion Carmel in a sectional championship game last season.
Seated near the top of the cavernous field house, Galvan said she had many thoughts running through her head at last season’s supersectional.
Mainly, she wanted to change her viewing point from a spectator to a player in next year’s supersectional.
“This season has gone by so fast, and I remembered last year at supersectionals watching Carmel and I definitely wanted to be on the court,” Galvan said.
From the opening tip, Galvan put on display her extraordinary two-way talents, finishing with a game-high 23 points and five steals to power Deerfield to a 52-45 victory over Montini in the Class 3A Dundee-Crown Supersectional on Monday night.
The Warriors (29-5) advanced to the program’s first state semifinal, playing Lincoln at 11:45 a.m. Friday at Redbird Arena.
Galvan, who has nine scholarship offers, scored 21 points in the first half before cooling off in the second half, but she still made a big impact with her defense and running the offense. She splashed home three 3-pointers in the first two quarters.
“The first half was probably the hottest I’ve been,” Galvan said. “I was just shooting it and it was going in. I made sure to get my legs into the shot. It kind of died down in the second half. I made sure to keep my defense on when I wasn’t hitting.”
Senior forward Olivia Kerndt had a big game for the Warriors, compiling 13 points and 10 rebounds and a pair of momentum-building charges in the second half. Nikki Kerstein had 10 points and Lexi Kerstein, who was sidelined with an injury in the final two-plus minutes, tallied six points.
But it was the turbo-charged Galvan who sparked the offense in the first half. She put on a shooting show and made several key steals, reeling off 13 straight points to turn a 14-4 first-quarter deficit into a 17-14 lead early in the second quarter.
Galvan’s scoring burst included hitting back-to-back 3s late in the first quarter. Galvan had a highlight-reel sequence to steal the momentum away from the Broncos, hitting a 3, immediately stealing the ball and then launching a 3. She also added 2 blocks, including a block on a fastbreak where she snatched the ball with one hand and started a fastbreak.
“Aubrey is a hooper,” Deerfield coach Nicole Keith said. “Her basketball IQ is special. There’s a different ballplayer in that little body. She talks about just letting her go to me.”
With Montini star senior guard Shannon Blacher, a Northern Illinois recruit, limited to four points due to foul trouble, the Warriors feasted on the Broncos’ defense for floaters, 3-pointers and putbacks.
Montini coach Shannon Spanos said her team played with tremendous heart to cut the deficit to 45-40 early in the fourth quarter before the Warriors pulled away. Victoria Matulevicius led the Broncos (27-8) with 14 points and Peyton Farrell tacked on 13 points. Alyssa Epps buried two 3s for 8 points.
“Hats off to Deerfield,” Spanos said. “They’re a very good team and moved the ball extremely well and hit some big shots. We got into foul trouble in that second quarter. We had a good start to the game. We played three good quarters of basketball. What I loved about these kids is they never give up. They came back and were willing themselves to get back into that game.”
Trailing 41-24 in the third quarter, the Broncos battled back with Blacher on the bench, cutting the deficit to 45-40 with 4:44 left in regulation. The Warriors forced consecutive turnovers and slowed down the tempo, hitting some late free throws to avenge a 55-49 loss to Montini in the regular season.
“We kept on moving and moving,” Galvan said. “We kept our composure and played good defense. This is so big for our team. We’re going downstate. I’m really proud of the team. We came together after Lexi got hurt. They had their run, but we kept our composure and got the result we wanted.”