For the first time this season, Bolingbrook High School girls basketball coach Tony Smith was completely happy with his team after four quarters.
And why shouldn’t he be?
The Lady Raiders ended Montini's 23-game winning streak, shot 60 percent from the floor and played with a tempo not even most college teams see on a regular basis.
Bolingbrook junior guard Kierra Ray scored an opening-game 3-pointer and the Lady Raiders never looked back, defeating Montini 79-63 in the McDonald’s Shootout’s showcase game Monday night.
“I was finally pleased,” Smith said. “We did a good job tonight. We played hard. It was a hard fought (win).”
In a game billed as a clash between two of the state’s best—Bolingbrook (13-2) came in as defending 4A state champion while Montini (23-1) boasted the same honors for class 3A—the two teams did not disappoint in front of more than 3,000 fans at Willowbrook High School.
Bolingbrook’s stifling defense set the tone early, limiting the Broncos—a top-50 team nationwide, according to USA Today—to just 13 points in the first quarter.
The Lady Raiders’ offense took advantage of three six-point swings in the first half and eventually chipped its way to a cozy 37-26 lead after the first two quarters.
Massengale dazzled fans with her up-beat tempo, ferociously attacking the net and setting up teammate after teammate throughout the first half. Massengale finished the half with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. The soon-to-be Tennessee Lady Volunteer finished the game with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists and logged the most minutes of any Bolingbrook player.
The third quarter belonged to the Tuck sisters, who had a hand in nearly every one of the 19 points the Lady Raiders scored that period.
Both Tucks finished with solid lines—senior forward Taylor Tuck scored 10 points to go along with two assists, while junior forward Morgan Tuck scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed five rebounds to go along with four assists.
“I think we are almost there,” Morgan Tuck said after the game, referring to the Lady Raiders development this season. “We are a lot further along than we were at the beginning of the season. But we still want to improve on a lot of things. We like playing in big games because you have to play well. Playing in big games and against the best teams will just help us grow.”
Massengale said the Lady Raiders’ plan from the get-go was to spread the Broncos defense by taking advantage of its 3-point-happy offense.
Montini attempted 30 3-pointers and found the net on 10 of them, accounting for nearly a third of the team’s offense.
“(The Broncos) are long and athletic and quick,” Massengale said. “They like to shoot the threes, but threes equal long rebounds, so just getting the ball up the court and running and getting layups was our gameplan.
GAME NOTES: Montini senior forward Whitney Adams logged a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds ... Montini shot just 35 percent from the floor and 30 percent in the first half ... More than 25 college scouts were on hand to watch the game, including scouts from the University of Illinois, Notre Dame, University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech, DePaul, Marquette, Maryland and Southern Illinois ... Bolingbrook has outscored its opponents 190-74 in the last two games ... Bolingbrook Junior forward Cabrina Capers posted a solid game off leading all Lady Raiders with seven rebounds to go along with nine points.
UP NEXT: Tonight at Joliet. Tipoff set for 6:30 p.m.