Zion-Benton 61, Stevenson 54
Saturday’s NSC Lake Division title game pitted two teams, Zion-Benton (20-5, 11-1) and host Stevenson (20-8, 10-2), that are polar opposites on offense but similar on defense. In a game that came down to the final minutes, it was the Zee-Bees’ inside strength that powered past the perimeter-oriented Patriots. Zion-Benton’s 61-54 victory earned them a spot in Wednesday’s North Suburban Conference title game against Prairie Division champ Vernon Hills.
With the scored tied at 54-54 with just under a minute remaining, Zion-Benton senior Tyvena Scafe slipped into a soft spot in the Stevenson zone. She received a pass and scored on a 10-foot jumper. On the ensuing Patriots possession, the Zee-Bees forced a Stevenson turnover, one of three in the game’s last 50 seconds.
Zion-Benton guard Shania Thompson. The 5-foot-5 senior hounded Patriots 5-foot-8 junior guard Sophia Way the entire game, holding her to four points. “She was very physical, looked me in the eye and followed me everywhere I went. You have to give credit where it’s due,” Way said.
BY THE NUMBERS
The Zee-Bees got 20 points from senior forward Auri Hampton and 17 from junior center Mia Yarbrough.
“We had a plan and [Thompson] stuck to it. I thought that bothered Sophia. I’m so happy the kids listened. That’s a milestone.” — Zion-Benton coach Tanya Johnson