Wahlund, Lake Zurich dump Buffalo Grove
The first page of the Exam Jamm girls basketball showcase program features images of a basketball, a net and a textbook.
Had there been a test in rebounding administered concurrently during Tuesday afternoon's Buffalo Grove-Lake Zurich matchup, Lake Zurich junior Brooke Wahlund -- listed, oddly, as a guard on page 3 of the program -- would have aced it.
The 6-foot Wahlund, marvelously mimicking a power forward all day, pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds in Lake Zurich's 49-27 defeat of visiting Buffalo Grove at the 18-team event.
Even her 7 offensive boards would have been a game-high total.
"Brooke gets the ball -- that's what she does," Lake Zurich coach Chris Bennett said.
"Brook," added Bears junior sharpshooter Baylie Parks, "works hard for those offensive rebounds. She always gives us second chances."
The Bears' second half?
A textbook display of defense. Lake Zurich, which led 25-22 at the half, allowed only 2 points in the third quarter and 3 in the final frame.
"It wasn't anything I said to them at the break," Bennett said. "The players decided to play defense."
And offense, particularly in the third quarter, when Lake Zurich (6-3) struck for 20 points to take a 45-24 lead after 24 minutes. Parks (9 points, all from 3-point territory) -- in her second game back since recovering from a concussion she had incurred in the season opener on Nov. 19 -- hit a pair of treys, and Wahlund tallied 6 of her 8 points.
"Lake Zurich is big and long and packs it in, defensively," Bison coach Martha Kelly said. "It was a great first half. We battled, pressured them. But the key was Lake Zurich getting the ball inside in the second half; we couldn't stop them. We tried a zone, but they still found ways to get the ball inside."
Lake Zurich senior guard Alayna Soukup (game-high 12 points, 5 rebounds) and Buffalo Grove senior forward Leah McKenna (8 points) shared Player of the Game honors.
Buffalo Grove (4-6) outscored Lake Zurich 8-6 in the final 4:08 of the second quarter, with McKenna netting all of her team's points in the stretch.
"We stuck with them in the first half," McKenna said.
Each team had entered the contest on a 2-game winning streak. And Buffalo Grove answered Lake Zurich's 7-0 run at the outset with a 7-0 spurt of its own, knotting the matinee at the 2:18 mark of the first quarter.
Lake Zurich senior tri-captain Kaylie Piggott (4 points, 3 rebounds) and Soukup then each hit a pair of free throws to cap the scoring in the first stanza.
Bears freshman guard Molly Friesen scored 6 points, while classmate Avery Cooper and sophomore forward Anna Gilbertson finished with 5 points apiece.
Buffalo Grove senior guard Alexa Lo Verde contributed 6 points and 4 boards. Bison senior Cassidy Green also grabbed 4 rebounds.