It certainly wasn’t a pretty game, but New Trier did just enough to get the best of their longtime rivals Evanston in a game that went down to the final possession.
The 14th ranked Trevians overcame a plethora of turnovers to defeat the #13 Wildkits 46-45 after Tinah Hong calmly sunk two free throws with just four seconds remaining in the contest.
“They worked so hard they do everything you ask them to do, I never ever doubt their effort,” said New Trier head coach Teri Rodgers on her teams performance. “They made a ton of changes and adapted to the game.”
New Trier started out the game chasing around Evanston as the Wildkits got out to a fast start, forcing turnovers, running in transition, and even getting a rare three pointer from Kayla Henning.
After the initial outburst, New Trier took better care of the basketball and started to feed Taite Ryan down low, who racked up eight points and five rebounds in the first quarter alone en route to a 12 point 11 rebound double-double.
Taite said: “We’ve been preparing for this game all week and rebounding was definitely one of our emphasises. Besides scoring offensively and defensively we were good on the boards.”
The two teams scoring pace slowed down for the remainder of the half, and New Trier maintained their lead through much of the third quarter until a 7-0 run sparked by Evanston’s Jayla Turchin (21 points, six rebounds) gave the Wildkits their first lead since early in the contest.
With New Trier needing a spark after seeing their scoring totals drop from quarter to quarter, a healthy Rebecca Goldman came through for the Trevians playing in her first game since her elbow injury.
Goldman scored eight of her team high 13 points, mixing in a nice midrange game along with getting to the basket through the teeth of the Evanston defense.
The senior went on her own personal 10-0 scoring run for the Trevians to give them the lead midway through the fourth quarter.
“The first half I was playing a little more timid, but with the atmosphere and adrenaline kicking in, it kind of clicked,” said Goldman. “I really wanted to win this game.”
“We talked to them at the end of the third quarter and thought we weren’t being aggressive,” added Rodgers. “Robo (Goldman) took that to heart and she went after it. That’s what seniors do, seniors want the ball in the big moment, she wanted it and I was really proud of her.”
Evanston would battle back, as another Turchin bucket gave the Wildkits a lead with 40 seconds remaining, but Hong’s foul and subsequent free throws on New Trier’s next possession gave the Trevians the win as Evanston were unable to get a shot off.
The win was an important one for the Trevians as they pull level with Evanston at 5-1 in the CSL standings. The win also has massive seeding implications, as the postseason is right around the corner.
New Trier will take a break from conference play as they travel to face a top-10 St. Ignatius squad, while Evanston have a full week to prepare for Glenbrook South.