CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Bloom Township's Katherine Strong flexed her muscles early for the Blazing Trojans Thursday night.
Strong had 17 first-half points and helped Bloom Township to a 55-41 victory over Southland Athletic Conference opponent Rich South. Strong finished with 19 points and nine rebounds on the night. Teammate Danielle King added 16 points for the Blazing Trojans.
"I was just taking what my team gave me," Strong said. "If I was open, I took the shot confident like I worked in practice. We're just coming together as one whole team right now, trying to make things happen."
Bloom (17-6, 8-0) held a seven point lead at the half, but the Stars were able to cut the Blazing Trojan's lead down to three to start the fourth quarter. The inside out game of King and Bria Gaines was too much for Rich South down the stretch. Gaines finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazing Trojans.
"It was just clock management," King said of the fourth quarter. "Seeing the gaps and taking it, and not holding the ball so they could have a chance to get an offensive possession. Just going to the hole and attacking and looking for the open shots."
King left the game late in the fourth quarter with a minor knee injury. She was unsure what her status would be moving forward.
"My knees were just bothering me," King said. "I aggravated it more, but I was just trying to play through the pain. (The defender) just kind of hit me before I landed on the ground."
The win lifts Bloom Township to a 8-0 record in the SAC. The Blazing Trojans set three goals at the start of the season. The first was to win the Hillcrest Holiday Classic which Bloom did. The second goal was to go undefeated in conference play, and the Blazing Trojans are two wins away from realizing that dream.
"You know what, they're playing as a team," Bloom coach Ron Newquist said. "They buy into their roles. And they believe in themselves. We're two games away from fulfilling dream two, and we'll see what happens in the playoffs."