Jackie Kemph had seen enough.
“We were down two points at halftime, which we’re not really used to, and we didn’t really want to be down as a team,” the 5-6 senior guard said. “In the second half, we put more effort into our defense and that led to a lot of fast breaks.”
Kemph scored 11 of her game-high 27 points in the third quarter and had a hand in two other baskets as No. 4 Rolling Meadows outscored No. 16 Hersey 16-4 to wipe out a 27-25 halftime deficit and ease to a 58-45 victory Friday in Arlington Heights.
Alexis Glasgow added 12 points, three assists and three rebounds and Jenny Vliet had seven points and 13 rebounds for Rolling Meadows (18-2, 7-0 Mid-Suburban East).
“We have so many great players, when I get the chance to score like that I know later on it will help them more,” said Kemph, who also had five rebounds and three assists. “It was a team effort, and when I got the ball in the second half I tried to attack because I didn’t do it as much in the first half.”
Hersey (16-2, 5-2) controlled the pace of the game throughout, and used an 11-2 run over a 4:31 stretch of the first and second quarters to overcome a 13-6 deficit and a 10-2 run over the final 3:16 of the first half to take the 27-25 lead at the break.
“They are a very patient team,” Kemph said. “They definitely have their own pace, which works really well for them. I think it was good for our team to see a team that runs their plays so well. I think that will help us down the line when we play other teams like them.
“It was not as much fun for us, but it’s something we’ll have to learn to deal with.”
A three-pointer by freshman Kelly Weyhrich got the Huskies within 41-34 38 seconds into the fourth quarter, and Morgan Harris hit a long jumper from the corner to cut Rolling Meadows’ lead to 47-40 with 3:42 remaining.
But a conventional three-point play by Glasgow and a rebound basket by Vliet gave Rolling Meadows a 52-40 lead from which Hersey could not recover.
Harris had 18 points and 10 rebounds and junior Annie Korff added 11 points for Hersey.
“The third quarter was all about Kemph,” Hersey coach Mary Fendley said. “It’s not fair to ask one girl to guard her, but if you double- or triple-team her you’re leaving somebody else open. We just could not stop her.
“They’re a really good team, but we’re not going to give up or stop playing hard. We showed some signs of what we’re capable of doing.”