Streamwood senior Jessica Cerda has buried many teams during her career as a prolific scorer.
During Thursday’s Upstate Eight River Conference contest at Batavia, Cerda also made her presence known on defense, forcing a huge turnover to save the day for the Sabres.
Clinging to a 51-50 lead with only a few seconds remaining, Cerda poked the ball away from Batavia and safely into the hands of teammate Deja Moore.
Moore was fouled immediately and sunk both ends of a one-and-one to give the Sabres a 53-50 lead. Liza Fruendt was able to take a potential game-tying 30-footer, but it clanked off the front of the rim as time expired.
“We knew it was going to be tough and we had three girls who played 32 minutes (Wednesday night),” Streamwood coach George Rosner said. “We knew it was going to require a great effort and we came out focused and I thought we did a good job defensively until we got the offense and running game going a bit.”
Streamwood (12-2, 5-1) took a 28-27 lead at halftime as Brittany Delao converted a field goal at the buzzer.
The teams would share a pair of ties in the third quarter, but Cerda’s three-pointer at the buzzer gave the Sabres a 47-42 lead.
Batavia (10-4, 3-2) received a three-pointer and then a driving layup from Fruendt (20 points) to pull within 51-50 with 2:25 remaining, but the Bulldogs wouldn’t score again.
Cerda missed the front end of a bonus with 18.7 seconds left to give the Bulldogs another chance to take the lead, but Cerda redeemed herself with her clutch defensive effort.
“Deja (Moore) was guarding and saw her pick up her dribble,” Cerda said. “I just tried to poke the ball away and Deja saved it from going out of bounds.”
Cerda became the sixth player in Streamwood history to score 1,000 points in a career. She only made 3 of 14 attempts from the field in the opening half, but surpassed the 1,000 mark with a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded at the end of the first quarter.
“Yeah it felt food to finally just get that out of the way,” she said. “Everyone was just waiting for that 1,000th point, but I was just focused on the game and getting the team the win, but yeah, it feels good to me.”
Cerda finished with 17 points while Moore led the Sabres with 18 points and 8 rebounds.
“She joined an elite group,” Rosner said. “She’s earned it. She works hard all the time and she’s made herself the player that she is.”
Batavia freshman Hannah Frazier has also made herself into quite a player. She collected 12 rebounds and scored 11 points in the losing effort.