Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith isn't one to make excuses.
He wasn't about to blame fatigue for Bolingbrook's first loss of the season at the Nike Tournament of Champions, even though the Raiders faced a quick turnaround following their arrival in Phoenix.
"We played bad the first game and it came back to bite us," Smith said. "That was the good part about it. We probably played one of our worst games and we were still right there.
"It was disappointing, but we came back the next three games and beat three teams that were probably better."
Connecticut-bound forward Morgan Tuck, who has scored more than 30 four times this season, totaled 35 points twice while in Phoenix.
Tuck's scoring average is nearing 30 points per game. That's up from 21 points per game last season, a boost Smith said comes from Tuck's initiative and improved efficiency.
"She's grown up some," Smith said. "She knows she can score. She knows she's the option. She's asking for the ball and wanting the ball, and her teammates also are putting her in a great position. They're doing a great job passing her the ball.
"She's also being very efficient this year. She's not missing some of the ones she did last year."
Smith was equally happy about Tuck's recent rebounding efforts, including 14 rebounds in the consolation game against MacArthur from Irving, Texas.
"The best part was she averaged double figures in rebounds," Smith said. "That was encouraging. We're asking her to do more of that, and she definitely did it down there."
The Raiders head out of state again this week to Cincinnati, where they will play St. Mary from Ontario, Canada, on Thursday. After three weeks without playing a game in Illinois, they host Homewood-Flossmoor on Jan. 5 in a Southwest Suburban Blue matchup.
Tournament updates: For Tuesday's tournament scores, visit our scoreboard page, but here's the quick rundown of Wednesday's best semifinals pairings.
At Dundee-Crown, Fenwick meets No. 17 New Trier at 6:30 p.m., and No. 6 Bartlett and No. 12 Fremd play at 8 p.m. At Hillcrest, No. 3 Hillcrest takes on Rich Central at 6 p.m., and No. 4 Marist plays No. 11 Homewood-Flossmoor at 7:30 p.m.
The finals of the Suburban Holiday Showcase will be played at Loyola, including the 7:30 p.m. championship between No. 5 Trinity and No. 14 Proviso East.