'D' keeps Lake Zurich rolling against Stevenson

By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/19/2018 10:12 PM

Sometimes a team gets on a roll, and that's all she wrote.

Lake Zurich is on such a roll.


It was the third meeting of the Bears and Stevenson on Monday night in girls basketball. And seven minutes into this sectional contest, the scoreboard read: Lake Zurich, 12, Stevenson 0.

Yes, zero for the Patriots club that has talented players such as Klaire Steffens, Kiana Cencula and Isabella Paldrmic.

On the first of Paldrmic's 3-pointers, Stevenson had crawled back within 4 points at 13-9.

That only awakened the Bears. Lake Zurich closed the half at the Class 4A Fremd sectional on an 12-2 run and ended Stevenson's season with a decisive 54-38 victory.

The Bears (19-10) will play Warren in the sectional final at 7 p.m. Thursday.

"It all starts with our defense,'' said Lake Zurich coach Chris Bennett. "Cencula and Steffens are great players. And it's so much fun to play Stevenson."

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After the game, Lake Zurich point guard Grace Kinsey looked like she'd run a marathon. She was constantly bringing the ball up court against Stevenson's trapping defense.

"Our motto is no regrets,'' Kinsey said. "When we play Stevenson, we know to keep the pressure on. They are so capable of going on 10-0 runs themselves. Stevenson is so tough in the playoffs."

Kinsey checked in with 6 points and also collared 5 rebounds from her guard position.

Held to one 3-pointer in Lake Zurich's regional win over Lake Forest, sophomore Ella Gilbertson checked in with a game-high 17 points.

"I knew I had to come out more aggressive tonight,'' Gilbertson said. "We really started out strong in this game. I previously thought this game would be much closer."


McKenna Zobel started the Bears off on the right foot with a personal 5-point run. Despite sitting with some early foul trouble, this senior finished with 14 points. She also was 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the final quarter.

Lake Zurich's halftime lead was impressive at 25-11.

Stevenson's Steffens was held to 6 points heading to the fourth quarter.

That's when she decided to take the ball to the basket. She scored on two separate three-point plays and led the Patriots with 16 points.

On a 3-point play from Zobel, the Lake Zurich lead reached 20 points at 34-14 late in the third quarter.

Maddy Piggott helped the Lake Zurich offense with 8 points.

Both teams were able to clear the benches late. Lake Zurich senior Janie Huels, banked in a 3 late. Stevenson's Georgia Maskalunas answered back for the Patriots.

Next up for the hot Bears are NSC power Warren. The teams split a pair of games this season.

"We beat Warren the last time,'' Kinsey said. "They have (Jordyn) Hughes and (Kaylen) Dickson. Most of our games are close with them."

"We have to play defense,'' Gilbertson added. "It has to be team defense. And we have to finish our shots."

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