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Article updated: 12/27/2012 11:11 PM
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Defense saves the day for Lisle
 

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Defense saves the day for Lisle
Chris Walker

Lisle couldn't get much going with its offense during Thursday's quarterfinal contest against Wheaton Academy in the Lisle Holiday Cage Classic.

Instead the Lions turned to their defense to beat Wheaton Academy 33-25.

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Lisle (14-2) forced 22 turnovers and held the Warriors to just 36 percent shooting from the field. The Lions also limited the Warriors to just one trip to the free-throw line where they converted 1 of 2.

"There's going to be nights where you don't shoot the ball particularly well or don't execute well," Lisle coach Dan Murray said. "But tonight I thought we did a fantastic job defensively and I think of their 25 (points), eight came on inbounds (plays) and that's not our strongest thing so we've got to be pleased with our defense."

Wheaton Academy (3-10) was blown away in the previous meeting between the schools this winter, dropping a 42-17 decision on Nov. 17. On Thursday the Warriors kept it close, drawing to within 27-25 with 4:38 remaining on an Elizabeth Melby 3-pointer.

"After getting beat by 25 and now to just be in the game, I thought we did a good job, especially defensively," Wheaton Academy coach Beth Mitchell said. "But give Lisle credit. They spread the floor and made our kids work. But if we get a couple more shots to go down then we're in a different position overall."

Lisle's ability to spread the floor allowed the Lions to attack the basket where they drew a good amount of fouls but were inconsistent at the free-throw line. The Warriors only converted 10 of 21 shots there.

"If we knock down more of those free throws we would've been in much better shape," Murray said. "But you have to credit Wheaton Academy. They were always within striking distance."

Lisle trailed 9-6 with 7:27 left in the second quarter but closed out the first half by outscoring the Warriors 11-3 to take a 17-12 lead at halftime.

Kelly Urban came out strong to open the second half for the Lions, scoring three baskets in the first two minutes to extend the lead to 23-14.

Katherine Maret drained a long jumper and then a 3-pointer to help the Warriors pull to within 23-20 with 3:22 left in the third quarter, but they simply didn't have enough offense to pull off the upset.

"We had a chance late, but they came up with some big plays down the stretch," Mitchell said. "We just couldn't hit the shots to stay in the game, but it still was a good effort for us."

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