It hasn't been perfect, but all in all, Montini is pretty pleased with the start to its girls basketball season.
The Broncos won the Hinsdale South Tip Off Tournament championship Saturday afternoon, defeating Hinsdale Central much the way it won its previous four tournament games. This time the final score was 79-38.
"We got to play against actually better teams than they probably showed against us," Montini coach Jason Nichols said. "I think we're a good team, but I like playing against (Hinsdale Central coach Tom) McKenna, because I know his teams are always prepared. Bradley(-Bourbonnais) has talent. I love playing Mike Williams (Neuqua Valley) teams because I don't care if Mike's down or not, they play hard. So I love playing here.
"We have a lot of room to improve. We shoot the ball really well. Our post play has been pretty good. ... So I like our team. But there are some things internally we've got to do better and we've got to fix and they know it."
The Broncos do know it, but they also are filled with confidence after winning their first six games by wide margins.
"It feels really good, and we're going into a really hard December," Montini senior guard Kaylee Bambule said. "We're going out of state (next weekend to the Cincinnati area), some tough competition coming up, so it's good just to get these wins under our belt."
Top-ranked Montini (6-0) got out to a 24-10 lead after one quarter and made it 47-20 by halftime.
"I feel like our offense is really working right now," Bambule said. "We're getting the ball inside, which is really opening our outside. And right now we're really knocking down shots, which is awesome."
Bambule led all scorers with 18 points, all on 3-point shots. The Broncos converted 11 3-pointers in the game.
Junior center Lindsey Jarosinski added 15, and sophomore guard Zoe Zacker had 14.
Bambule was named tournament MVP, with teammates forward Aaliyah Patty and Zacker joining her on the all-tournament team.
"Aaliyah has done really well this year," Bambule said. "She's matured a lot."
Seniors Paige Bareck and Riley Burr represented the Red Devils on the all-tournament team. Bareck led the Red Devils on Saturday with 9 points.
Montini took the Red Devils (5-1) out of their game with their full-court defense, forcing the Red Devils to do things they don't normally do.
"We really shoot pretty well," McKenna said. "We didn't today. That pressure really takes you out of your rhythm. And then you're in trouble. The pass you characteristically can make, you can't make against them. A lot of that is a tribute to their quickness and their defense. They're everywhere."
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