2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/13/2018 5:41 PM

Assists add up for Timothy Christian

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By Matt Le Cren
Daily Herald Correspondent

If at first you don't succeed, pass the ball to a teammate.

Olivia Schuringa took that concept to heart Saturday and so did her Timothy Christian teammates.

Schuringa, a 6-foot senior forward, recorded 7 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists to help the host Trojans beat Lisle 35-25 in a nonconference girls basketball game in Elmhurst.

The assist total was the most noteworthy statistic for the Trojans, who finally broke down Lisle's defense with pinpoint passing into and among their post players.

All but one of Timothy's 15 baskets were assisted, with the only one that wasn't being a putback by 6-2 center Emily DeBoer that gave the Trojans their largest lead, 33-21, with 3:25 left in the fourth quarter.

"One thing we had to work on was passing the ball faster and it finally happened," Schuringa said. "We kind of did it, finally, because that's what we've been working on in practice."

The Trojans (9-8) broke open a tight, defensive struggle by outscoring the Lions 14-7 in the third quarter to extend their lead to 29-17. They did it without junior guard Jordyn Strube, who tallied all 7 of her points in the first half but missed most of the third quarter with foul trouble.

Freshman Sureya Alex stepped up by recording 4 assists and helping pressure the Lions into an awful shooting performance.

"It's nice because we have Sureya, a freshman who is a really good ballhandler, and we have Abby (Carstensen), who is also a really good ballhandler," Schuringa said. "They really stepped up, especially with the passing."

That's been a point of emphasis for Timothy coach Michele Strube, whose team can get stagnant at times.

"We're working really hard with the teamwork concept and we'll be working with the guards and posts a little bit more," Michele Strube said. "We need to get the posts the ball more."

The Trojans did so late as Schuringa and DeBoer, who had 6 points and 6 rebounds, combined to score all 6 of their baskets after halftime. Schuringa focused on dishing the ball and eventually it came back to her.

"In the first half I was not making my shots," Schuringa said. "So instead of looking to shoot I just looked for the open girl."

Good ball movement meant there were plenty of open spaces for the Trojans, who had a significant size advantage over the Lions (9-11), who have no player taller than 5-8.

"We knew they were smaller, but we haven't played in two weeks or practiced together until yesterday," Michele Strube said. "So it was a challenge but they did OK.

"Everything I asked them to adjust, they adjusted."

Timothy shot just 5 for 22 in the first half but made 10 of 16 shots in the second half. Lisle was more consistent but in a negative way, making only 1 basket after halftime and finishing 4 for 39.

"If we had any kind of perimeter shots, then we can get their defense to come out more and open up the middle," Lisle coach Nick Balaban said. "That was the problem. We couldn't get any perimeter shots to fall."

Natalie Takahashi paced Lisle with 13 points and 6 rebounds. The senior was an impressive 11 for 12 from the foul line but went 1 for 12 from the floor. McKenzie Weaver, who last week tallied a personal-best 23 points, had 6 points and 3 steals but shot 0 for 8.

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