Montini Christmas Tournament: Quarterfinals
We’re back at Montini for another round of live scores and updates. Only four games today, but the quarterfinal round is probably my favorite of the bunch, I just feel like you get the most bang for your buck in this round.
Once again, if you are unable to made the games today or just want to read our hard hitting analysis (who can blame you for that?), follow us throughout the afternoon/evening.
#16 Lake Forest 46, Lyons 29
Lyons stayed close through three quarters, but Halle Douglass and Lake Forest were just too much for the Lions to pull off another upset.
The Scouts got off to a early lead courtesy of nine points from Douglass in the first quarter, but Lyons would eventually settle into the game and actually take the lead late in the second quarter at 21-20.
Unfortunately for Lyons, that would be the last time they would lead in the contest. Lake Forest’s defense stepped up in the second half, only allowing three field goals.
“We did a much better job on their handoffs and ball screens and taking them out of what they were doing,” said Lake Forest head coach Kyle Wilhelm. “They were getting good looks from three and hit a couple of tough step backs, but when your making them step away from their shot instead of into it, it lowers their percentage. We were also grabbing rebounds in the second half.”
Lyons tried to shoot their way back into the contest, but the rushed, contested three point attempts did not fall as Lake Forest would run away with the 46-29 win.
Douglass finished with a game high 24 points and 8 rebounds, but Finola Summerville also impressed for the Scouts finishing with a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards.
“Finola is a difference maker, she is a sneaky good post player because she does so many other things,” said Wielhelm. “She also gets every single loose ball. Finola is going to run through a wall to get those 50/50 balls and that just changes the intensity of how the team plays.”
#1 Benet 52, Hersey 42
Benet did what good teams do, and that is find ways to win games.
The Redwings overcame a headache inducing Hersey zone and a cold shooting night to end up with a 52-42 win to advance to the semifinals for a matchup against Lake Forest.
Brooke Schramek continued her solid start to the tournament with another 16 point performance, doing all of her damage from the paint and the free throw line.
But those opportunities were afforded to Schramek through some excellent passing from the high post from Allison Forney. Forney finished the game with eight points and six assists from the five spot, a much needed spark when others were struggling to find their shot.
“She’s really a guard whose strong enough to play post,” said Benet head coach Joe Kilbride. “I thought her decision making other than one time today was really good, and not trying to force anything into a tight window.”
“Coach was preaching the high post dive,” added Forney. “The top would collapse on me and the bottom would be wide open. In zones there are always holes, especially in the middle of the floor.”
Hersey played well for 3/4 of the game, but once Benet opened up a bit of a cushion in the fourth quarter, Hersey (like Lyons in the previous game) took some rushed three point attempts which helped Benet gain some breathing room.
Mary Kate Fahey led the Huskies with 15 points, four rebounds, and five assists. It was a typical Fahey game, where you don’t even realize the kind of numbers she accrued until the very end.
Benet remain undefeated on the season and knock off another opponent that they have lose to in previous season, just one of many signs of the growth of this team.
“It’s something we talk about a little bit because a lot of these kids were apart of previous teams,” said Kilbride. “We didn’t want to have that experience again of losing in the early round. It’s not a ‘revenge tour’ but the kids certainly don’t forget.”
#3 Montini 47, #14 Geneva 32
Tatiana Thomas was dominant tonight in Montini’s 47-32 win over Geneva.
The sophomore poured in 17 points, grabbed seven rebounds and was a big factor in the Montini defense holding Geneva’s Lindsay Blackmore to just two points on the night.
“I thought we did a real good job on her,” said Montini head coach Jason Nichols. “A little disappointed on how we defended the high post, we just have gaps. The older teams like Benet, Fremd, and Evanston don’t do that but to their credit I think we defended the heck out of Geneva.”
“Tatiana was tough, she was not like that at the beginning of the year,” added Nichols. “We need someone who is an enforcer because we don’t have that.”
The Geneva/Montini rivalry has become a staple in recent times, with the two teams meeting twice downstate in 2018, and in the semi-finals or later in the Montini tournament twice in the last five years.
“Me and Sarah Meadows have a lot of respect for each other. I mean we didn’t even scout each other we just sent tapes,” said Nichols. “She’s one of the best coaches around, she really is. Going in I thought we were a bit better than them, but that doesn’t matter going against her teams.”
Besides Thomas’s standout performance, the Broncos also received contributions from Sydney Prochaska (nine points, eight rebounds) and Maddie Saracco (six points, two assists).
Montini will face the winner of the Evanston/Bolingbrook matchup for their 11th semifinal appearance in as many years.
#2 Evanston 67, #13 Bolingbrook 58
Evanston is pretty darn good huh?
The second ranked Wildkits will face off against Montini in the semifinals in a battle of the undefeated after knocking off No. 13 Bolingbrook 67-58
Jayla Turchin looked as though she returned to her 2018-19 form as she led Evanston with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
“Last week I finally felt as though she was locked in so I told her ‘welcome to your senior year,'” said Evanston head coach Brittanny Johnson. “But she really plays well here so I was expecting it. She showed up an hour early just to get shots up so when I see her like that I know there’s no stopping her.”
Along with Turchin, Kayla Henning (14 points, five rebounds, five assists) also provided some offensive firepower for Evanston.
Henning was locked in an epic point guard battle with Bolingbrook’s Kennedi Perkins who had a game high 19 points and helped keep the Raiders within reach.
Johnson said: “Kayla worked so hard, she was so frustrated last year and it really made her question a lot of things. For her to play big in these moments, I almost get emotional thinking about it.”
With Bolingbrook only trailing by eight points entering the fourth quarter, Perkins looked to keep her momentum from the previous quarter going, but the Wildkits dug deep and held her to zero points in the final frame.
The improved defensive effort, combined with two clutch three’s from Lola Lesmond (14 points) early in the frame all but sealed the deal as the Wildkits closed out the game for a nine point win.
With the win, Evanston advances to the semifinals for the first time in school history, a goal that they set out to do at the beginning of the season.
“It’s funny, last year when we lost in this round I was so frustrated I asked why do we even come here is we’re going to continue to lose?” said Johnson. “So to be able to get to the final four of this tournament, they actually promised me they would get it done so it’s a surreal feeling and now we have to refocus for tomorrow.”
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