Evanston fed the post early and often en route to a 53-45 win over New Trier to open up the CSL South season.
The Wildkits were led by sophomore Ambrea Gentle, who posted the first double-double of her career with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and was a force of the defensive end, earning high praises from her coach.
“We’ve been waiting for Ambrea to make her presence known and she definitely did so today,” said Evanston head coach Brittanny Johnson. “We really feel like she can be a (former all-state player) Jeannie Boehm, I’m really excited we have that dimension to our game, I think it makes us that much stronger.”
The first quarter saw Evanston drive up their lead with good post play and a high free throw rate. The Wildkits attempted ten free throws in the first quarter which led to a 19-10 first quarter advantage.
Evanston continued to attack the basket and the offensive glass ad nauseam. New Trier had no answer for Evanston front line until they started double and triple teaming Gentle in the second half, which she cooly passed out of creating wide open looks for shooters.
Coach Johnson said: “She’s a very, very underrated post passer and only as a sophomore. We’ve been waiting on this for a long time and hopefully the lightbulb is starting to go off and hopefully we’ll see this Ambrea every day.”
One player who benefited from all the attention Gentle was drawing was Delaney Brooks. Brooks scored 10 important points off the bench for the Wildkits which included two three pointers.
“Delaney is a kid that works hard every day. Her number is not always called, but when it is she’s ready to play,” said Johnson. “In that situation I trusted her to go out and be poised and knock down shots.”
Despite trailing by 10+ points for most of the contest, New Trier got within four points at 40-36 early in the fourth quarter thanks to a big run from Cate Murdoch, who had a game high 16 points.
Unfortunately for New Trier, Evanston were able to answer every challenge that the Trevians threw their way. Kayla Henning (8 points) and Brooks hit two big shots down the stretch to secure Evanston’s 53-45 win over their longtime rival.
“It was a tough first matchup. Our first four conference matches are really, really tough and we’re going to be pushed to our limits over the next two weeks,” said Johnson. This was a really important win for us and this stretch is really going to test how we’ve grown after Schaumburg.”
Evanston will not have much time to rest as they will play Marian Catholic on Saturday at 7:00pm at the Fremd shootout. New Trier will next play on December 5th against Maine South