Amanda Smith stepped up her game Saturday.
The point guard led Lakes' girls basketball team to a 54-28 win over host Wauconda in North Suburban Prairie Division action.
"Amanda stepped up big today and showed great leadership in directing our team," Eagles coach Pete Schneider said. "She knocked down her first 3 shots, but more importantly she helped organize and direct the team on the floor. We have struggled with some of the mental parts of the game and we needed some leadership, and Amanda provided that for us."
Lakes (9-8, 4-2) was led offensively by Samantha Ney with 12 points. Amanda Beetschen and Smith added 9 and 8 points, respectively.
"We got great defensive performances out of Maya Schmitt, Dayna Olson and Shelby Trkla," Schneider said. "We played with heart and energy today, something that was missing (Friday in a pair of tournament losses at McHenry). Maya kept great pressure on their ballhandlers and made it tough on them."
Wauconda (4-12) was led by Lauren Nee with 10 points. Jessie Wood had 8.
"Wauconda came to play on their home court," said Schneider, whose Eagles led by only four at halftime. "(Wauconda coach) Jamie (Dennis) always gets her kids ready to play, and today was no different. They play really hard and do not back down."
Palatine 34, Deerfield 21: At Warren, the Pirates won again but lost four-year varsity guard Nia Pappas to an apparent sprained ankle in the opening quarter.
The IUPUI-bound Pappas had to be helped off the court and did not return. She was on crutches after the game and headed to get X-rays.
"I guess we take it for granted that she's been a four-year varsity starter and she's never gotten hurt before," Pirates coach Leslie Schock said. "Now we got to reshuffle some things, and it's a big opportunity for other girls to step up, especially if she can't make it back for this tournament."
Monica Masini had 10 points for Palatine (13-2). McKenzie Wiedemann (5 steals) and Samantha Heuertz added 7 apiece, and Erin Mayer (5 points) grabbed 11 rebounds. Pappas -- who averages 13 points per game -- hit a shot from the floor and dished out an assist in helping the Pirates build a 9-5 lead.
After she went out, with 4:30 left in the opening quarter, Palatine scored just 25 points.
"I told the girls, our defense is going to keep us in games, especially when our offense is pretty inconsistent right now," Schock said. "We play pretty hard defense."
Palatine led 14-7 after one quarter, 17-13 at halftime and 26-15 after three.
Deerfield (5-9), which got 10 points from Haley Greer, lost its fifth in a row.
"We made a little bit of a run (in the fourth quarter), but they held us off pretty well," Warriors coach Mike Muldrow. "They took care of the ball and we weren't able to cause anything."
Wheeling 47, Niles North 30: At Warren, Hannah Dobrowzski scored 12 points and Deanna Kuzmanic added 10 and 4 assists for the Wildcats in their opening game of the Blue Devil Classic.
Wheeling led 12-9 after one quarter, 21-14 at halftime and 37-20 after three. Elizabeth Smith and Gianna Calistro chipped in 8 and 7 points, respectively, for the Wildcats.
Taylor Louis had 9 points for Niles North (0-13).
North Chicago 61, Grant 56: The visiting Bulldogs trailed only 26-25 at halftime, but got outscored 17-8 in the third quarter and couldn't recover in the North Suburban Prairie Division game.
Grant (5-8, 2-3) received 11 points from Taylor Rossi and 10 apiece from Sadie Contreras, Kaylie Kanzler and Jasmine Sangster.
North Chicago's Monique Greathouse led all scorers with 16 points.
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