The Hot Read: Bolingbrook took Benet Academy's best shot in the first half of Thursday's Romeoville Sectional final, but the Lady Raiders delivered the opening salvo of the third quarter and didn't stop until they earned a 20-point victory and sectional championship.
Bolingbrook captured its seventh consecutive sectional title with a 64-44 win. The Lady Raiders were led by McDonald's All-American Ariel Massengale, who bounced back from a sluggish semi-final performance to put up 22 points and four rebounds—the senior point guard put her teammates on her back and carried the bulk of the team's scoring.
Junior Morgan Tuck scored 14 of her 15 points in the second half in support of Massengale's show-stopping performance.
Benet opened the game with an intensity not seen by Bolingbrook since its winter tournament in Phoenix, as the Redwings stayed within five points of the Lady Raiders.
But Bolingbrook outscored Benet 38-23 in the second half to emerge with a 20-point triumph.
Patch’s MVP: Ariel Massengale was the focal point of Bolingbrook's offense, finishing with a game-high 22 points.
Key Stats: Bolingbrook picked up 12 steals. The Lady Raiders' top two scorers (Massengale and Tuck) accounted for 57 percent of the team's scoring. Benet's top two scorers contributed 59 percent of the team's points.
Bolingbrook's Leaders: Massengale (22 points), M. Tuck (15 points), Taylor Tuck (eight points, six rebounds, two steals).
Benet’s Leaders: Christen Prasse led the way for Benet with 14 points, while teammate Danielle Canulli chipped in with 13.
Quotable: "This team with the physical tools ... that first half was just not acceptable. The second half was a lot better." -Bolingbrook coach Tony Smith.
Quotable II: "I thought we battled as hard as we possibly could. We stopped them from getting easy baskets but unfortunately we had a little lapse there in the third quarter and they took advantage of it." -Benet coach Peter Paul
Team Records: Bolingbrook (25-2), Benet (24-7)
What’s Next: The Lady Raiders will travel to Bloomington Monday, where they will face Edwardsville High School, which beat Moline High School in the Normal Sectional, at 7:30 p.m. at Illinois Wesleyan University.