No doubt about it, Montini was ready to get its own girls basketball tournament started.
The Broncos (12-1) blasted overmatched Oak Park 77-40 on Monday afternoon in the first round of the Montini Christmas Tournament in Lombard, taking the Huskies out of the game right from the start.
"Our top nine kids came out and I thought played really hard and well," Montini coach Jason Nichols said. "They were efficient, they executed."
"There's always something you can work on in games like these," Montini senior Kateri Stone added. "We definitely tried to work on transition, defense. People haven't played man against us a lot, so we got to work on that today too for future opponents."
The Broncos scored the game's first nine points, forcing 5 Oak Park turnovers in the first 2:14 of the game.
By the end of the first quarter, Montini led 24-5 and Oak Park had already used three timeouts, which only put the Broncos on pause.
By halftime the Broncos led 46-12. The lead peaked at 45 points before the Broncos removed their starters midway through the third quarter.
Stone led the Broncos with 14 points, adding 7 rebounds and a blocked shot in limited minutes. Sara Ross had 11 points, 6 steals and 6 assists, and Kelly Karlis tallied 10 points, 3 assists and 2 steals.
"I thought she was active and pushing the ball," Nichols said. "... When Sara is active like that, she kind of sets the tempo and pace for us. Sometimes she gets caught just standing, and when she's standing around that's not a good thing because our defense isn't as good. But I thought we did some good things in transition. We really got out and ran and pushed the ball."
The competition will get much tougher after Christmas in Thursday's quarterfinals, when the Broncos, ranked third in the Daily Herald Top 20, meet No. 4 Fremd at 6:30 p.m.
"It kind of stinks that you get a little bit of a break here for a couple of days, might slow some momentum down, but you've got to find that in a hurry Thursday. We'll find out who's sleepwalking Thursday. That's tough, two days off, then coming back and playing in the quarters. I think Thursday is going to be interesting for eight teams, no doubt about it."
"It's really tough," Stone said. "Thanksgiving we had a day off, we came back and played Wheaton South (Montini's only loss this season). So it's very challenging mentally and physically. I think a lot of us are going to come in early tomorrow morning to shoot around and everything. Don't each too much, don't rest too much, but it's going to be fun."
Freshman guard Chardonnay Harris led Oak Park (7-8) with 13 points, all in the second half.
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