2016-'17 Season Coverage
updated: 12/27/2016 7:36 PM

Montini rolls past Lake Zurich

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By Scott Schmid
Daily Herald Correspondent

With its shooting off a bit after Christmas, it was defense that carried Montini on Tuesday.

Forcing 30 turnovers with their pressure defense, the Broncos rolled to a 60-19 girls basketball victory over Lake Zurich in the opening game of their eighth annual holiday tournament.

The home team jumped out to a 17-2 lead after the opening quarter in improving to 13-0 on the season.

"They do a great job with the zone they play," said Lake Zurich coach Chris Bennett. "They make you totally uncomfortable, you can't do anything you try to do."

Illysse Pitts scored 8 of her 13 points in the opening half, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers, as Montini took a 29-10 advantage into the break.

"We came out ready to go," Pitts said. "We knew we had to play hard. Some of our top shooters weren't hitting their shots, so I knew I had to step up, especially with Zoe (Zacker, season-ending knee injury) out.

"That's the good thing about Montini, we have so many players who can contribute to the game. That makes the game more fun."

A 12-0 run to start the third, sparked by back-to-back 3s from Nikki Oppenheimer and Kaylee Bambule, put the game out of reach. Bambule also finished with 13 points while the inside duo of Aaliyah Patty and Lindsey Jarosinski combined for 12 points, 7 blocked shots and 12 rebounds. Jarosinski and Claudia Kunzer each added 6 steals.

Despite the lopsided score and their unblemished record, Broncos coach Jason Nichols still feels his squad is missing a little something. Part of the problem might be the fact that this was only Montini's third game in the last 17 days.

"We haven't been playing that well lately," Nichols said. "I don't know if it's because we lost Zoe, but we are definitely trying to find a rhythm. We need a little spark. We did not shoot the ball well and we were not good in practice yesterday. Hopefully, it's a rhythm thing."

The Broncos will take on Proviso East in the second round.

Grace Kinsey led Lake Zurich (7-7) with 5 points.

"That's why we came here," Bennett said. "We wanted a challenge and we got one. And we will get one the next three days. We are young but we will battle."

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