Timothy Christian overcomes scrappy Lisle
It's a trend Timothy Christian has been working to straighten out.
"Sometimes we're awesome," Trojans interim coach Mark Baumbach said, "but then again sometimes we just struggle."
On Saturday night the Trojans got a win while struggling, with some awesome sprinkled in. They defeated Lisle 38-32 in a nonconference girls basketball game at Lisle despite allowing the Lions to score 16 straight points in the middle periods.
"With Lisle you're always going to get a major scrapfest," Baumbach said. "They play so doggone hard. And that's been our Achilles' heel. If I was to scout us I'd say, Hey, just get in their grills, body them and do whatever you can.
"As I told the girls after the game, that was the first game where we ended up fighting through it. I don't think we have to fight through it. I think if we run our plays and take care of things, I think we win. But doggone it, it's just getting over that hump mentally."
Timothy Christian (14-5) started well and finished well. The Trojans scored the game's first 9 points and led 15-2 early in the second quarter.
"The first quarter was good. We were doing our thing," Trojans sophomore Hannah Schuringa said.
Sophomore guard Abby Casmer turned the momentum almost single-handedly, scoring three straight baskets, followed by a Cassidy Allen 2.
"Huge," Lisle coach Nick Balaban said of Casmer. "She's done that for us all year. She's got a lot of energy. She's very athletic. She's got great speed. ... Against their press we just put her in the middle and we got it to her and she just took it right to the basket."
Senior guard Audrey Strunewitz contributed some key boxouts in the period that helped Lisle get some important rebounds despite giving up a few inches at every position. Timothy led 15-10 at halftime.
The Lisle run continued into the third quarter. The Lions (15-9) took their only lead at 16-15 when McKenzie Weaver hit a baseline jumper with 6:16 left in the third. A Caitlyn Webber basket put Lisle ahead 18-15.
"We all got in our heads," Schuringa said. "I for one was, like, missing every shot. I lost all my confidence. I think that's what happened. We were just scrambling for everything. It was really frustrating because things weren't going in."
Sureya Alex helped Timothy Christian regain its confidence. A pair of Alex free throws ended the run with 3:39 to play in the third quarter to start an 8-0 Timothy Christian run.
Allen tied the game at 25 at 6:51 of the fourth quarter, but Alex scored followed by a Lauren Gehrke basket, and the Trojans held on for the win.
"We're getting there," Baumbach said. "We're getting there."
The 5-foot-11 Schuringa scored 16 points to lead the Trojans, adding 11 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Alex scored 8 points, and 6-2 sophomore Greta Hoogstra added 6 points with 15 rebounds and 4 blocks. Timothy played without 6-foot sophomore Sarah Carstensen due to illness.
Weaver and Webber led the Lions with 8 points.