That was a whole lot of basketball.
I love these shootouts. It’s nice to get to see all the teams and coaches again this early in the season and get a chance to talk to everyone in a much more laid back environment thats not a tourney or state playoffs.
This article isn’t going to be super formal. Just a basic recap of all the games with stats and some of my own individual thoughts.
Figured a nice casual article was appropriate for a relatively casual event. Big shout out to Fremd for hosting, they always put on a good show.
No. 14 Marist 57, No. 10 Lake Forest 53
I guess you could call this an upset.
Marist got off to a great start, breaking down the usually very stout Lake Forest defense with a nice high low action and a lot of backdoor cuts.
The Redhawks actually took a first quarter lead without any points from Sydney Affolter, though she did a great job of distributing the ball to her teammates early.
Affolter then started pressing a bit, and Halle Douglass did Halle Douglass things to keep things close, but it was the sophomore duo of Kira Chivers and Mary Clare Brusek who led Marist down the stretch.
Lake Forest actually tied the game late, and had a good opportunity to tie the game and send it to overtime. But Marist’s defense held strong on the final possession and Affolter iced the game from the line.
Brusek finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists for Marist while Douglass finished with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
No. 1 Benet 59, No. 8 Lincoln-Way West 54
Lincoln-Way West did everything they could to stay within reach in this one, but Benet was just too much to overcome.
Both teams had a pretty rough night shooting the ball, especially Lincoln-Way West who really struggled with Benet’s length to find open looks for three.
Benet at one point had a 15 point lead thanks to a very nice performance from Molly Sheehan (19 points, 6 rebounds), but full credit to Lincoln-Way West who fought back despite the unusual shooting struggles.
It was a good test for Benet, and a good test for Lincoln-Way West, who showed a bit more defensive prowess than their previous scores indicate.
Taylor Gugliuzza led all scorers with 24 points for Lincoln-Way West.
No. 3 Montini 41, No. 4 Maine West 40
Montini ends Maine West’s 44 game win streak on the same floor that Maine West ended Beaver Dam’s impressive win streak two years ago.
It certainly wasn’t a pretty game, a lot of fouls, a lot of turnovers and obviously not a lot of scoring.
But you can also credit that to the team defense. Maine West played their usual confusing matchup zone, and Montini, specifically Taris Thornton, did an excellent job on Angela Dugalic (17 points) before fouling out.
Maine West took the lead early in this one before Montini came back and got the lead right back in the second quarter. The Broncos extended that lead in the third behind Sophie Sullivan (12 points) before Maine West came back in the fourth.
The Warriors had a chance on the last possession to win the game but good straight up defending on Dugalic from Tatiana Thomas put the game to bed.
No. 2 Evanston 65, Beaver Dam (WI) 57, 2OT
Probably the best game of the day from a quality standpoint and entertainment value.
It looked as though Beaver Dam was going to run Evanston out of the gym early. They could not miss from 3 and had an early 10 points lead.
Evanston kept with it though and countered the Beavers sharp shooting with pounding the ball into the post and Ambrea Gentle ended up with a career high 29 points when it was all said and done.
Then, Evanston played one of the best quarters of basketball I’ve seen all year in the third quarter. The Wildkits were firing on all cylinders. Jayla Turchin looked healthy, Lola Lesmond showed her improvement, Kayla Henning was at full strength and they went into the fourth quarter with an 11 point lead.
The fourth quarter was a different story though. Maty Wilke (26 points) got back into the scoring column after being shut out in the third quarter and even when Evanston looked like they had the game in hand up 3 with five seconds left. A costly turnover gave Beaver Dam the opportunity to force overtime.
Both teams remained deadlocked at the end of the first overtime period, but after Wilke fouled out early in the second OT, Beaver Dam lost that bit of firepower and Evanston ran away with it in the end.
I mentioned it on twitter, but I just wanted to emphasize how happy I am to see Kayla Henning back on the court playing at full strength. She obviously wasn’t 100% last season, but she has been making up for lost time her senior year.
Crown Point (IN) 59, No. 7 Fremd 43
Crown Point may be the only team Fremd will play this season who is bigger than them.
That Crown Point team is no joke. Two extremely skilled forwards at 6’1″ and 6’3″ and the best player I think I saw in all of the games today in sophomore point guard Jessica Carrothers
Fremd started out well enough, but found themselves in a bit of a pickle after Ruthie Montella went down in the first quarter with an ankle injury.
The lack of another ball handler to compliment Emily Klaczek really caused problems for Fremd. Crown Point pressed all game, and their length and quickness pretty much negated any easy scoring opportunities.
Klaczek actually had a pretty strong fourth quarter after starting off slow, but it wasn’t nearly enough for the Vikings.
Mother McAuley 44, New Tier 14
Kinda a funny story on this one (not if you’re New Trier I guess), I was walking between gyms and left when McAuley had a 12-5 lead on New Trier.
By the time I came back, it was 30-5 in favor of the Mighty Macs, and things didn’t get any better from there for New Trier.
Apparently Jenna Badali had 20 of McAuley’s first 23 points, but the player I was most impressed with was Bella Finnegan.
Finnegan was an important piece coming off the bench for last years state runner-up team, but she looks taller, stronger, and looks like a very complete player who can shoot, take players off the dribble, and defend at a high level.
Someone told me today that soccer is actually her number one sport, and while I do love soccer, I would certainly encourage her to keep up with basketball because I believe she is that good.
No. 12 Kenwood 64, Naperville North 45
Absolutely beautiful ball movement from Kenwood.
That team has such great chemistry, they know exactly where everybody is on the floor at all times.
In fact, they passed the ball so well, I though Brianna McDaniel should have been a bit more selfish at times, as she passed up an open lane twice to dish the ball to one of her teammates.
Anyways, if Kenwood can put it all together like they did tonight, they are going to be an extremely dangerous team in 3A, challenging the likes of Montini, Simeon, and Morton.