Lisle comeback bid falls short vs. Plano

By Stan Goff
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/15/2016 10:42 PM

You couldn't blame the Lisle girls basketball team if it had packed up its bags after the first half Thursday night and just decided to skip the final two quarters.

While visiting Plano and star MaKayli Vann came out hot, the host Lions came out as cold as the weather on this December night. Lisle missed its first 15 shots and went 2 for 29 from the floor while falling behind 23-9 at the half.


But the Lions did indeed come out for the second half and came out strong, battling back to within 43-37 with more than a minute left to play before eventually falling 45-37. In the end the slow start coupled with a 21-point, 19-rebound effort by MaKayli Vann was just too much for Lisle (8-5, 3-3) to overcome in the Interstate Eight Conference contest.

"We're too good a shooting team to be down for too long a period of time," Lions coach Nick Balaban said after his team's comeback fell just short. "We made a run at the end, and we had an opportunity to cut it to four. But we just dug ourselves too big a hole.

"We just couldn't hit shots."

MaKayli Vann helped Indian Creek finish third in Class 1A last year and this season she transferred to Plano along with her sister MaKenzie Vann. The two starters have helped the Reapers jump out to a 9-2 start this year, including 5-0 in conference.

She had four 3-pointers in the first half and 16 points, but Lisle played a box-and-one in the second half and slowed her down a bit. But Plano's Demetra Phylactos stepped up with a trio of 3-pointers and 11 points in the third quarter to help the visitors take a 34-22 lead into the final quarter.

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Lisle's Nicole Cyranoski tallied 11 of her team-leading 14 points in the second half and the offense of MacKenzie Weaver and TyAnn LeGrand-Melton along with Abbey Kretman's rebounding also helped spark the comeback.

Kretman, a 5-foot-9 senior, finished with 6 points, 14 rebounds and 2 steals in the game. She admitted the first half was a struggle, but she and her teammates knew they could at least make things interesting over the final two quarters.

"It was tough," Kretman said. "We just had to keep moving on offense. Our shots weren't falling so it was kind of hard to create an offense off that. But we came out strong in the second half, ready to play. We started moving more on offense and we got more aggressive.

"We just kept shooting. We couldn't get down on ourselves. We had to keep the confidence up."

Weaver finished with 7 points and 3 steals and LeGrand-Melton scored 5 points all in the second half as the Lions attempted to overcome the slow start.

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