BLUE ISLAND | Crete-Monee's first sectional victory in three years didn't come easy.
The Warriors battled back from an early deficit to defeat Homewood-Flossmoor 52-45 in the opening round of the 4A Eisenhower Regional.
"Our defense came up," Lindzy Cox said. "We really committed on defense to come back. We felt we could pull it out because we came back on defense."
Cox scored 17 and grabbed six rebounds for Crete-Monee, and teammate Alexia DeBose added 14 points and three assists.
Homewood-Flossmoor started the game with a 13-2 run, but the Warriors slowly battled back throughout the second quarter. Two DeBose buckets cut the Vikings lead to 23-21 at halftime.
"We came out and we executed down the stretch," Crete-Monee coach Christina Cobbins said. "It's not necessarily executing a certain set, it's just staying with our style of play and getting up and down the floor."
The Warriors took they're first lead of the game midway through the third quarter at 27-26. Homewood-Flossmoor recaptured the lead and held a 35-30 lead with 5:36 left in the game before a 9-0 run gave the Crete-Monee the lead for good.
"We just brought up our defensive intensity in the second half," DeBose said. "Our defense creates offense, and we really weren't doing anything on the offensive end."
Homewood-Flossmoor struggled for offense in the final four minutes of the game, and coach Dana Noble felt that the Vikings left plenty of points on the court. Viking Jaiveonna Norris led Homewood-Flossmoor with 17 points and five rebounds. Sydni Johnson added 13 points and four rebounds for the Vikings.
"We had a lot of good layup looks and didn't finish," Noble said. "When you don't finish, you don't get the and-one, and we didn't get those opportunities. The 3s that normally fall for us, didn't fall tonight, and it showed. We couldn't put the ball in the basket."