Loyola girls hoopsters respond to first loss with win over Glenbrook South
It was as simple as this.
"We didn't want to continue a losing streak; we wanted to start a new winning streak," Loyola Academy girls basketball coach Jeremy Schoenecker said.
Coming off a Dec. 16 loss to Montini, its first loss in 12 games to start the season, the Ramblers regrouped the next night against visiting Glenbrook South in Wilmette.
"Our mindset was just focus on this game, not last night, just push everything away and have a new mindset for today," said Loyola senior guard Angelina Giordano.
It worked. Loyola (12-1) topped the Titans 46-32 in a nonconference game that was closer than the final score.
Glenbrook South's Sidney Rogers led all scorers with 14 points, ahead of Giordano's 13, with 11 from Ramblers' sophomore Kelsey Langston. Chloe Gonzalez added 10 points for Glenbrook South (6-5).
Neither team led by more than 5 points through the first three quarters. That's where it stood, Loyola up 30-25, when Schoenecker took a timeout with 5:28 left in the fourth quarter.
His team responded with a 10-4 run over the next three minutes to lead 40-29, paced by Giordano with 6 of those points. Langston and Nora Stanton added drives down the lane in the stretch.
"He kind of called a time out just to reset us, get our minds back focused where we needed to be, and we know what we have to do when we come together -- play as a team, give the open girl the next shot, shoot when you're open and just play like we always do," Giordano said.
The Ramblers then sealed the victory by making 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch, Langston going 5-of-6.
"I think when we spread the floor a little bit higher, it gives us a little bit more gaps and easier reads," Schoenecker said. "I think when we expand the floor in that motion offense, it helps see different things, and I think that helped us a little bit. We made some layups down the stretch and also made some free throws."
"They just were able to push the ball more and find the open player more," said Glenbrook South's Rogers. "Our defense sort of fell apart after that. We didn't help as great; we didn't have ball pressure as great."
Capped by Anna Durow's 3 from the left wing, the Titans led 13-8 after one quarter, and though held to 5 points in the second quarter -- all from sophomore guard Chloe Gonzalez -- they clung to an 18-17 halftime lead.
Glenbrook South saw numerous close-in shots roll off the rim or bounce off the backboard. On the bright side, Titans coach Scott Nemecek liked the execution that produced those attempts.
"I'm very pleased with the shots we created ... The girls did a great job creating the layups and getting there. We make those we have a bigger lead and sustain a little more," he said.
"Overall there's a lot of good stuff we did out there and, quite frankly, at the end they made some free throws which makes the score look a little worse. I think if we can get the ball popping a little more, get that ball moving a little bit more, it'll generate even more for us," he said.
Relinquishing the lead early in the third quarter, Glenbrook South got it back on a 6-0 mini-run -- 2 Rogers free throws, Megan Flentye slicing down the left baseline, Rogers scoring a third-chance putback for a 24-21 lead.
Loyola answered with a streak of its own. While Glenbrook South missed its next 3 shots, Giordano hit a 3, Morgan Van Horn -- playing way over her height with 11 rebounds -- converted a putback and sophomore Paige Engels scored off perimeter ball rotation for a 28-24 lead entering the fourth quarter.
"We had them," Rogers said. "We could have won."
Montini had them the night before. It proved to be Rambler fuel.
"Last night was a loss, but everyone loses," Giordano said. "If we were told that we were going to be 11-1, we would have taken it. We just knew we had to bounce back today and play even harder."