Senior leads Seneca girls basketball in win over Newark

SOMONAUK – Seneca senior Danielle Hauch was in a groove. Leading the Lady Irish with 15 points, Hauch was a steady force in the second half in leading her team to a 44-35 win over Newark at the Tim Humes Breakout Tournament on Wednesday in Somonauk.

So confident was Hauch at the end of the game that she drove the baseline and put in a reverse layup with 1:15 to seal the deal.

“I wasn’t planning on a reverse-layup, but nobody was there and I thought to myself, why not?” Hauch said.

“Sometimes it’s hard to tell the kids to stop, but it’s different when she’s feeling it,” Seneca coach Barb Beck said of Hauch. “That was one of those moments. I can’t fault the aggressiveness.”

Newark jumped out to an early lead in the game and held on until late in the second quarter. The Lady Norse led 7-3 halfway through the first quarter and then 13-7 after the initial stanza.

Seneca got back into the game with about five minutes before halftime. It started when Mallory Misener got a basket and, after Newark’s Jasmine Mitchel scored at 4:25, the Lady Irish scored the next seven points.

“Early on the guards didn’t have their heads up and they were forcing passes,” Beck said. “In the second half the girls were more patient and that made the difference in the game.”

Hauch tied the game at 15-all with a 3-point play at 3:27 and then she gave Seneca the lead almost one minute later with field goal. Misener followed that with a bucket at 1:58 and Seneca’s lead was suddenly 19-15.

Two free throws by Christine Zitt with 10 seconds left before the break made it 19-17, but Ana Munoz scored at the buzzer for the Irish to account for the 22-17 score at intermission.

At one point Seneca had built an 11-point lead before watching Newark making its comeback. Danielle Hauch scored six straight points for the Irish and Misener added another two to get to that point (30-19).

However, Newark wouldn’t go away and got the lead back to within five by getting two field goals from Alexa Myre, one from Kristine Zitt and two free throws from Kelsea Zitt to make it 30-27. But, just like before halftime, Rylee Anderson scored a basket to close the third period and give Seneca a 32-27 lead.

“I thought we played poorly tonight,” Newark coach Brian Holman said. “We can’t have that many turnovers. We are a long way from understanding when needs to be done. But our hats are off to Seneca, they got after us in the middle two quarters and we couldn’t catch back up.”

Behind Hauch’s 15 points for Seneca, Misener added 12.

Kelsea Zitt led Newark with 10.