St. Viator girls basketball coach Christina Jost wasn't very enamored with her team's rebounding in the Lions' first two games of the season.
So on Tuesday night at Dundee-Crown's Thanksgiving Tournament, the Lions gave Jost something to be thankful for.
St. Viator not only outrebounded Hampshire with authority, but also applied a defense that caused the Whip-Purs 29 turnovers. That, combined with another stellar scoring effort from junior Erin Fabbri, led the Lions to an easy 67-37 win, evening their record at 2-2.
"I'm happy for our girls. It was a good team effort all the way around," said Jost. "It was a focus of ours to rebound better. We got beat on the boards pretty good our first two games. The girls responded to the challenge."
The Lions outrebounded Hampshire 37-24, including 10-5 on the offensive glass. Fabbri scored a game-high 21 points and had 7 steals.
"I can't say enough about Erin," Jost said. "She had a great game tonight. Our kids all did a great job of sharing the ball. We had good chemistry all the way around."
Hampshire hung close to the Lions at 14-11 with 5:20 left in the first half, but Kelsey Trimble scored at 4:46, Fabbri hit a 3-pointer 42 seconds later and Justice Johnson scored off an offensive rebound with 3:17 left to give St. Viator a 21-11 lead. The closest Hampshire would get the rest of the night was 6.
The Lions shot 30-for-58 on the night, while Hampshire made just 10 of 36.
"We talked about scoring points off our defense," said Jost, whose team had 30 points off turnovers. "We did a nice job on the wings. Our points were scored off our defense.
Senior Jennie Horstmann added 13 points for the Lions and Trimble had 10 to go with 4 steals. Johnson had 9 rebounds and Maddie McAteer pulled down 8 boards.
Hampshire did have a positive start to the second half. Trailing 27-16 at the break, the Whips cut the gap to 29-23 on a Sara Finn basket with 6:23 left in the third. But Horstmann banked in a 3-pointer and Fabbri made 2 free throws and less than a minute later it was 35-23. Hampshire never got closer than 10 after that.
"We stared off the second half great," said Hampshire coach Ed Haugens. "The first 3-4 minutes were outstanding. But you could almost see the wind go out of us when (Hortsmann) banked in that 3.
"Our biggest problem right now other than not rebounding is relying on other people to get things done and not using our team chemistry. We're not realizing that we've got each other's backs and we're not trusting each other. We can be a good team but it's going to come down to chemistry and trusting each other. We've got a bunch of individuals on the court right now."
Finn led Hampshire with 10 points and 5 steals. Jen Dumoulin added 9 points and Emma Benoit had 7 points and 6 rebounds.