For two girls who played a lot on the perimeter in the past, Lisle's Kristina Fernette and Kelly Urban aren't afraid to mix it up inside.
Hard work comes with incentive.
"It's like at practice, we have three different rebounding drills that we always do," Fernette said. "There's always consequences if we don't do them well."
Lisle did just about everything well Tuesday. Fernette had 12 points and 11 rebounds, Urban 11 points and 8 boards and the Lions beat Timothy Christian 45-24 for their ninth straight win.
Urban and Fernette crashed the boards all night, leading a 35-15 Lisle advantage there. In fact, the Lions had as many offensive rebounds as their opponent's total. What Urban and Fernette may lack in size they make up with intangibles.
"They just battle, they work and they get good inside position," Lisle coach Dan Murray said. "They use their bodies well and they're just scrappy. I'm real proud of them."
"Last year we had a really tall post in Darian (Payne)," Urban said. "Now we all have to step up and do our part rebounding."
Lisle (11-2) hasn't lost since Thanksgiving weekend, and on Tuesday it did a lot of the things winning teams do.
The Lions took advantage of opportunities at the free-throw line, making 17 of 25, limited their turnovers to 10 and held their seventh opponent this season under 30 points.
"We did all the little things," Murray said. "We want to keep this run going as long as possible and hopefully be playing our best basketball in February."
Leading 16-13 at half, Lisle gained separation with an early 8-0 run. Sierra Birdsell had a basket, Urban scored on a stickback, worked her way inside for an inside layup and then made a post feed to Birdsell for a layup.
Lisle did a much better job attacking Timothy Christian's 1-3-1 zone out of the break, its 16 third-quarter points matching the halftime total. Birdsell also scored 11 points.
"I thought when they switched defenses we did a good job recognizing it," Murray said. "First half, the identity of the team we have built we kind of went away from. We had people doing things that we don't perceive as their strengths. Second half we got back to doing what we do."
Stephanie Kuiper had 6 points and Kaylie Pries 4 rebounds for Timothy Christian (6-6). Coming off good wins over Fenton and Immaculate Conception, the Trojans struggled to get the necessary stops.
"We were never really in it," Trojans coach Ryan DeKoekkoek said. "Defensively, we just weren't invested in getting stops. We try to pride ourselves on getting three stops in a row in a game; I don't even know if we got two."
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