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Warren closes own tourney with yet another triumph.

Byline: Bill Pemstein Daily Herald Correspondent

A Warren girls basketball team with 4 wins in late December?

The Blue Devils didn't look like a four-win team early in the game against Carmel on Saturday afternoon. On a flip shot from Kelsey McGraw, the Warren lead was 14-2 late in the first quarter. Carmel got a key 3-pointer from Katie Lach to pull within 14-9.

On a six-point spurt from Grace Sullivan, the Warren lead was just 30-26 heading to the final quarter at the Blue Devil Classic.

Carmel did not have a single basket in the final eight minutes. Warren's Breleigh Gula had a five-point spurt of her own, the Blue Devils went 6 of 6 from the free-throw line and won their tournament finale 43-30 win.

It's the first two-game winning streak for Warren (5-13), which went 2-3 in its tournament.

"Our goal is to surprise teams in the second half," Gula said. "We had to fight back in this game and play smart."

Warren dominated on the boards. Gula certainly helped with 11 boards. Dana Lundtveit scored just 1 point but grabbed 10 rebounds. Warren won the battle of the boards, 41-26.

"We are always in search of some consistency," Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz said. "I still think we've come a long way since Thanksgiving."

Warren also had some strong guard play from junior Jesette Ezernack. She sank a key 3-pointer and finished with 7 points.

"We always seem to lose out in the second halves of games," Ezernack said. "But I think our chemistry is getting stronger."

Carmel (6-10, 1-4 tourney) got back into the game entering the fourth quarter.

"We just couldn't make a basket when we needed to," Corsairs coach Ben Berg said. "We made a pretty good effort getting back into the game."

Stanczykiewicz was pleased to see Gula come up big in the final quarter. She had no points at halftime but finished with eight.

"That was a highlight," he said. "She really came on down the stretch."

Sullivan was perfect from the floor (5 of 5), finishing with 10 points and 5 rebounds. Lach, who was named to the all-tournament team, and Shai Horton (6 of 6 from the foul line) added 8 points each for Carmel.

Jataia Harris (8 points, 6 of 6 from the free-throw line) represented Warren on the all-tournament team. Mary Kocen led the Blue Devils' balanced scoring attack with 9 points.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Pemstein, By Bill
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Dec 30, 2018
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