Two Addison Trail offenses made appearances Thursday against Chicago's Lane Tech on the opening day of the Fenton/Addison Trail Thanksgiving Tournament in Bensenville.
The first one struggled, managing only seven points during the first eight minutes and trailing 18-7 after it. The second offense exploded for 26 points in the second quarter, helping the Blazers lead for most of the second and third periods.
Although the Indians (1-1) won 62-59, the Blazers (0-2) were pleased at the progress made offensively compared to Monday's 27-point season-opening loss to Riverside-Brookfield. The team stressed, though, that the defense needs to improve.
"I think we pushed the ball more in the second quarter and got some good shots. We missed on some awful shots in the first quarter," said Addison Trail coach Rob Schader. "We came out hard in the third quarter, but the lead fell apart."
With 3:34 left in the game, the Blazers' Connie Barkoulies fought her way through the lane to put her team up for the final time of the night, 58-56.
Lane Tech proceeded to go on a 6-0 run before junior Rachel Baumgartner sank a free throw to pull Addison Trail to 62-59 with 18.5 seconds left. The Indians ran out the remaining time.
Barkoulies led the Blazers with 18 points. Baumgartner had 12. Arieta Arizi pulled down 9 rebounds.
"We sped up the tempo when they were slowing down," Barkoulies said of the second quarter. "And we were able to make some easier shots. I think offensively we did well. Defensively, there is a lot of work to do. Once we figure out some things, we'll be golden."
Addison Trail shot just 3 of 11 from the field in the first quarter while Lane shot 8 of 17 for their big opening advantage. The Blazers shot 6 of 15 in the next quarter but were boosted by 12-of-17 free-throw shooting while Lane Tech froze up at 3 of 19.
Barkoulies' third basket of the quarter put her team up for the first time in the game at 27-26, and the teams closed out the first half with a 6-6 scoring exchange.
The Blazers return to the tournament Saturday for a 6:15 p.m. game against Fenton.