With Wednesday's night 52-25 triumph over visiting Gordon Tech behind it, St. Viator's girls basketball team now faces Conant, Buffalo Grove and Prospect in three of its next four games.
"We're diving into the Mid-Suburban League," said Lions coach Christina Jost, who starred in the MSL as an all-area guard for Buffalo Grove. "We'll see how we match up. It's a tough conference."
The Lions suffered a tough loss early in the second quarter at the Cahill Gymnasium.
With 6:58 left, all-area guard Erin Fabbri was trying to reach for a loose ball when she went down to the floor in pain.
The senior standout, who had scored back-to-back layups to give Viator an 8-7 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter, suffered a broken ankle. She will see an orthopedic doctor today and get a better idea of her prognosis.
"Stats wise, she leads us, but we can't replace her leadership, hard-nosed play and work ethic," said Lions coach Christina Jost. "We're hoping for the best."
The Lions held their own on the court following Fabbri's departure and led 20-18 at intermission.
They returned to the floor after the break with renewed energy and used a 22-2 run to pull away to a 42-20 lead with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter.
With six minutes left in the third quarter, Jost went with a lineup of consisting of junior Susie Moynihan, senior Sam Hogan, sophomore Maggie Leazer, junior Molly McNamara and junior Molly Murphy. They created a handful of turnovers with pressure defense and the Lions were scoring in transition.
"Those were a lot of newcomers and some of our quicker kids," Jost said. "We had the press on and that generated some offense from steals."
Moynihan's steal and layup with 5:58 left in the third quarter got the Lions lead to double digits for the first time at 28-18.
Two free throws by Leazer, a left-handed layup by McNamara and a layup by Murphy gave the Lions a 34-20 lead after three quarters.
Moynihan finished as the game's high scorer with 12 points. Junior Jessica Hohlweg added 9 points for Viator while classmate Maddie McAteer chipped in 8.
Kayne Stanley, another Lions' junior, also had a pair of key baskets in the second half.
"We were kind of flustered at first when Erin got hurt," said 5-foot-10 senior Kelsey Trimble, who had buckets in the first and fourth quarter.
"It was hard to lose her. She provides great leadership and she's a great voice on the floor for us. In the second half, we all knew we had to pick it up, and we did."
Gordon Tech first-year coach Joe Faron, whose team is 3-4, was impressed.
"They're a tough team with a lot of juniors," said Faron, whose club was led by sophomore guard Kaitlyn Velazquez' 11 points and two 3-pointers. "They're definitely going to do some damage.
"I've got to give credit to their defense. They got off their feet and we couldn't get anything off them in the second half. I tip my cap to them and their coach. She really got them going."
Jost has gotten the Lions off to a fast start but she didn't like their start Wednesday.
"We'll take it," she said of the 5-1 record. "But we came out flat this game. It took us a whole half to get going. We'll go back to work (today) and Friday and get ready for the first two MSL opponents."
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