With his team’s double-digit lead quickly dwindling Friday against Lincoln-Way West, Stagg coach Bill Turner saw what he needed to see.
His Chargers didn’t shrink in the moment.
“We never lost our composure,” Turner said. “West got as close as six, but we gathered ourselves and took care of the ball, finally saw some shots drop.”
Having led by as many as 12 points in the second half, Stagg’s lead was cut to six in the fourth before the host Chargers reeled off a 14-4 run en route to a 48-35 win in a SouthWest Suburban crossover.
Hannah Henderson (11 points, four assists), Kate Adams (10 points), Casey McMahon (eight points, six rebounds, five steals) and Mia DiGiacomo (six points, 13 rebounds, two blocks) led Stagg (6-7).
In looking to close out the win, Henderson and her teammates knew what they had to do.
“With the lead, we’ve got to take our time and take care of the ball,” Henderson said. “We’re not rushed, and we’ve been having problems lately turning the ball over. We had to stay calm.”
Leading 34-28 — after having led 28-16 a few minutes earlier — Stagg stayed calm and weathered the storm. Adams scored on a hard cut to the basket, with DiGiacomo delivering a bounce pass. DiGiacomo followed with two free throws, and the Chargers regained control.
Stagg connected on all eight of its free throws as part of the 14-4 run, with Mia DiGiacomo and Adams adding baskets that helped the Chargers go up 48-32.
When West struggled early, it was DiGiacomo who held the Warriors down. The junior forward secured 11 of her 13 rebounds at the defensive end.
Stagg led 14-2 after one quarter and 23-9 early in the second.
“With our rebounding and our shots falling, we were able to hold them off,” DiGiacomo said. “I’m just trying to find the closest person, box out, and all my teammates were able to, too.”
West (9-4) had stretches of eight-plus in the first half and seven-plus minutes in the second half without a basket. Dani Morgan and Courtney O’Donnell scored 10 points apiece for the Warriors.
“We didn’t shoot well, but it comes back to our energy level,” West coach Ryan White said. “We didn’t get it going offensively.”