One of the trademarks for the Antioch girls basketball team is stifling defense.
But it's also a luxury having a the Big 3 on your side when it comes to offense.
By now, most folks know about the dynamic sister duo of seniors Ashley and Amy Reiser.
Equally important to the Antioch offensive machine is senior forward Erika Gallimore, who took matters into her own hands Saturday afternoon by scoring a career-high 25 points in leading the Sequoits to a 45-37 victory over neighboring rival Lakes in the second round of the 3rd Annual Martin Luther King tournament hosted by Lake Forest.
"I've been more aggressive and was just running with it, and was playing with a purpose," said Gallimore, who got off to a fast start by popping in 10 of her points in the first quarter as the Sequoits held a slim 13-10 advantage over a very competitive Eagles team that had won eight of its last 10 prior contests. "Our chemistry has been great and our defense sets the tone."
What makes the 5-foot-7 guard so versatile this year is she now has confidence in shooting the 3.
While Gallimore scored most of her points in the paint or on short jumpers, she also popped in three treys in the process against Lakes.
And defensively, she's having no problem mixing it up when guarding girls 5 or 6 inches taller than her.
"That's by far one of her best offensive games and best overall games in three years I've coached her," said Antioch coach Tim Borries, who girls improved to 2-0 in the event and 15-3 overall. "She was definitely looking to score today. She also looked great shooting the three-pointer."
Lakes is a much improved team from a year ago and was nip-and-tuck with the Sequoits most of the game.
Antioch appeared to be pulling away in the second after an Olivia Ori 3 produced a 24-15 lead with 3:39 left in the half.
But the Eagles, who are 1-1 in the event and 10-10 overall, went on a 7-0 spurt to close it to 26-22.
Sophomore forward Mia Edwards chipped in 5 of her of her 8 points during the run.
And like Gallimore, senior guard Natalie Iacopetti got off to a hot start. She scored 8 of her team-high 12 points in the first quarter to help keep Lakes right there.
After having played the opening game of the event earlier in the day, both teams showed a little fatigue in the third quarter. Lakes had outscored the Sequoits 9-6 on the strength of senior forward Sarah Zellman's two 3s; she finished with 9 points.
And an Edwards free throw with 30 ticks left cut the deficit to just one at 32-31 heading to the fourth.
"When everyone's involved in the offense, we're hard to stop. In the third, we were a little tired and were not moving as much and standing around," said Borries, whose team will play Deerfield at 10 a.m. on Monday morning at Lake Forest. "But everything starts with our point guard (Piper Foote). She puts so much pressure on the defense, and that's what we got back to a little bit in the fourth."
Amy Reiser (10 rebounds) picked up her fourth foul with :31 left in the third, but senior forward Megan Kelly came in and held her own over the next 5:43.
Iacopetti hit a trey to draw the Eagles to within 36-34 with 3:24 left but that's as close as they got.
Gallimore's trey with 2:57 left gave Antioch a little breathing room at 39-34. She ended up scoring 9 in the frame, including the final 6 points of the game.
"We played them well a week ago," said Lakes coach Brian Phelan. "We just need to keep chipping away. One possession at a time."