MORGAN TOWNSHIP | Kankakee Valley jumped out to a big first-half lead against Morgan Township on Saturday, and when the Cherokees rallied in the third quarter, the Kougars had the answer.
The Cherokees trimmed what once was a 14-point deficit to six, but the Kougars closed the third quarter on a 12-1 run to move the lead to 17 and go on to win 55-44.
“Our girls found another gear in the last two minutes of the quarter, and we came up with some stops defensively,” Kankakee Valley coach Ryan Myers said of the run.
Lauren Stokes, who had a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds, had six points during the run on two baskets and a couple of free throws. Breanna Toppen added two baskets during the decisive stretch.
“She’s a phenomenal athlete,” Myers said of Stokes. “That’s how she plays. She’s fearless and she’s fast. She’s got another gear that’s hard for other kids to keep up with."
The Cherokees (2-2) could get no closer than 11 in the fourth.
Toppen led the Kougars (2-2) with a game-high 18 points. She had 13 of her points in the first half, including seven in the opening quarter.
Trina Coleman led the Cherokees with 16 points, 14 of which came in the second half. She scored 10 in the fourth quarter.
The Kougars had a 41-27 edge in rebounding, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds.
Ashley Norberg added 10 points for the Kougars and Bethany Jansma had nine.
Kameron Stanko and Hannah Murphy each picked up seven points for the Cherokees.