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Willowbrook girls basketball coach Terry Harrell said after Thursday night's 64-44 win over St. Francis that he's confident that he puts a balanced offense on the court.
The evidence so far backs that up for 2-0 Willowbrook. Against the Spartans (0-1) in the opener of the Warriors' annual Thanksgiving tournament, the victors were led by Olivia Domin's 15 points. Anita Sterling had 14 and Molly Krawczykowski put through 13.
"We have five players on the floor that can score and teams cannot concentrate on one person," Harrell said. The Willowbrook coach said that with the team's four-guard lineup, the post player is crucial, and he's liked what he has seen so far from Erma Udota.
"She's a smaller player there at 5-foot-10, but she's explosive, rebounds well and is effective in that position with our four guards on the perimeter," he said.
Willowbrook took control of this game from the start and didn't let go. The Warriors led 19-7 after the first eight minutes on 6-of-19 shooting and a 12-6 rebound advantage. Willowbrook pushed away to a 36-17 intermission lead and continued to dominate the boards at 23-9.
"I think it's a little bit of an advantage (playing a tournament) at home. But we play hard every night no matter where we are playing," Domin said.
The St. Francis offense showed some spark in the third with a 7-of-11 performance from the field and pulled to within 15. However, Willowbrook stayed on cruise control with 5-of-7 shooting and making 7 of 7 free throws. It led 53-34 at the end of three.
Spartans coach Mike Phillips was pleased with what he saw in the third quarter and said his team is going to have to be ready to play every night of the tournament.
"We are going to have to match the energy of these good teams," he said.
Aly Germanos led St. Francis with 16 points. Kate Slattery had 10.
"She plays like that all the time," Phillips said. "Our kids can really penetrate the basket, and we need to take advantage of that."
Play continues today at Willowbrook with St. Francis taking on Plainfield East at 4:30 p.m. Willowbrook battles St. Joseph at 7:30.
"I think we can have a really good season. We worked hard over the summer and we expect a lot," Domin said.