Charles shows what she can do in Montini win vs. Stevenson
A year ago Taylor Charles got her introduction to varsity basketball primarily as a reserve.
This season the Montini sophomore is stepping into a larger role.
On Thursday night Charles flashed her potential, tallying a double-double in the Broncos' 59-41 win over Stevenson at the Willowbrook Thanksgiving Tournament.
Now a starter, Charles finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds to go along with 4 steals.
"I'm just focusing on trying to help my team," Charles said. "We lost a lot of seniors from last year's team. So I want to step up and do what I can to help my team win."
Trailing 15-11 at the outset, Montini (2-0) closed out the first quarter on a 5-0 run and then wrapped up the second on another 8-0 spurt to lead 30-20 at halftime.
That margin increased to as many as 15 points in the third quarter, thanks in large part to the Broncos' pressure defense, which forced 21 turnovers for the game.
"It's hard to simulate Montini's pace," Stevenson coach Ashley Graham said. "Their half-court pressure caused some problems for us. But I was ready proud of our first half, especially the first quarter.
"It's just tough to continue playing at that pace and we weren't ready to withstand that. Montini is obviously an extremely talented group of young girls, but I thought our girls came in with no fear. We battled."
Simone Sawyer kept the Patriots (1-1) within range all night, knocking down five 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 21 points. Ava Bardic chipped in with 10 points.
Sophie Sullivan also checked into double figures for the Broncos with 11 points. Taris Thornton added 9 points, 7 of which came in the final quarter, and 9 rebounds.
"It was real sloppy," Montini coach Jason Nichols said. "We just have to try to get better. We have a lot of young kids playing so we expected part of it. I thought there was some good play, Taylor Charles had a good game. She showed what she can do when she plays with a motor all the time. That's her thing. If she does that, she will be special."