After Streamwood struggled down the stretch to four losses in six games, coach George Rosner said he needed better play at both ends of the court.
The top-seeded Sabres certainly couldn’t complain about the defensive end of it Tuesday after their 47-23 victory over sixth-seeded Dundee-Crown in the semifinals of the Streamwood Class 4A Regional.
“Our defense was much, much better,” Rosner said. “We worked hard all week to play better defensively today, so that part paid off.”
Streamwood (20-8) held Dundee-Crown (3-23) to 19 percent shooting from the field (10-of-53) and the Chargers could manage only 11 points through the first three quarters. The Chargers had 22 turnovers over the first three quarters against Streamwood’s pressure.
As a result, Streamwood is looking for its first regional title since the 1987-88 season and faces South Elgin. The Sabres lost to South Elgin last year at South Elgin in the regional finals.
It wasn’t a complete turnaround for Streamwood, which had a game-high 13 points from senior forward Jessica Cerda and nine from senior guard Deja Moore.
“We were playing OK defense,” Cerda said. “But the offense wasn’t really flowing.
“Sometimes we try to look for the harder pass than it needs to be. We don’t really go for an easy pass, we go for the play-maker. It’s something we need to work on as a team. Sometimes it’s not the smartest thing.”
While D-C could score only seven first-half points, Streamwood struggled with just 19. After committing nine first-quarter turnovers, Streamwood made just 10 more the rest of the game.
Kim Jimenez came off the bench in the first quarter for four quick points to help Streamwood to an 11-3 first-quarter edge. Then Cerda got hot in the third quarter with eight of her points to help the Sabres pull away for good.
“My girls always play hard up until the end,” Dundee-Crown coach Michelle Russell said. “We just couldn’t make any baskets tonight. Our layups, our shots just wouldn’t fall for us.
“We thought we did a good job of holding them for the most part. We just didn’t score.”
D-C had 11 points from forward Jesenia Laboy.
“The last couple weeks she has been a real spark for us, getting rebounds and putbacks, making strong moves,” Russell said. “She’s only a sophomore and she’s going to be our future, I believe.”