WILMINGTON — Seneca was outscored 15-8 in the fourth quarter of its 44-32 loss to Peotone Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Interstate Eight Conference Girls Basketball Tournament.
In their first quarter of play since then on Monday, the Lady Irish were the ones dominating their opponent. They defeated Manteno 53-27 in consolation semifinal play at Wilmington after jumping out to a 22-7 lead by the end of the first.
During the first quarter alone, Seneca's full-court press caused 10 Manteno turnovers.
"Definitely," Seneca coach Barb Beck said, when asked if she liked the early tempo. "Offensively we were patient when we needed to be, and we moved the ball around. We obviously pressured them on defense. Kayla Haines came off the bench and knocked down some shots. That was nice to see."
Danielle Hauch scored 10 of her Seneca-high 12 points during that first quarter. Six of the points came on open layups made possible by passes from Anna Baker, Haines and Chelsie McCormick. Hauch also scored off of her own offensive rebound and made a jumper during the quarter. McCormick and Jacey Lamboley added first-quarter three-pointers for Seneca.
"My teammates set me up with some nice passes," Hauch said. "We came back strong from the loss the other night. We knew we still had a chance to get fifth place in this tournament and to prove to everyone what we can do."
Hauch scored only two points the rest of the way, but more scoring from her was hardly needed. Other than Haines, who finished with 10 points, nobody from Seneca had more than five, but 11 different players scored.
"We had some real nice balance tonight in our scoring," Beck said. "Kayla was strong off the bench and Danielle got us going early, but then everyone got involved."
Seneca will face sixth-seeded Westmont Wednesday at 7 p.m. for fifth place. Westmont was a 45-23 winner over Herscher on Monday.
"We hope to go out with a win," Beck said. "We only have (four) regular-season games left after this, so it's important to build on this and continue to play well."
McCormick's 11 points led the Lady Irish in the quarterfinal loss Saturday. Baker added nine points for Seneca.
"Got a good game from Chelsie to lead us," Beck said. "Anna Baker played a solid fourth quarter."