Maine West rolls by Yorkville for 40th straight win
Being consistent and being relentless is the trademark of Maine West senior guard Dylan VanFleet on the basketball court.
VanFleet was just that Saturday afternoon at the Schaumburg Girls Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament.
VanFleet led the 4-0 Warriors with 18 points, 3 steals and 4 assists in Maine West's 63-27 win over Yorkville in the third round of the tournament. It was Maine West's 40th straight win.
"We didn't want 32 (Angela Dugalic to beat us," said Yorkville coach Kim Wensits. "We wanted someone else to try and beat us and VanFleet did. She's a very good player and we knew that coming in. She did a very good job. Credit to her."
VanFleet, Lena Albo (14 points, 5 rebounds) and Dugalic (12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks) set the tone in building a 15-3 lead and finished the first quarter ahead 20-4.
The Warrior defense forced 8 turnovers from the 1-2 Foxes and converted the miscues into 9 points in the initial frame.
Seven points from Albo and six from VanFleet helped Maine West open a 32-9 lead with 2:36 left in the first half.
Yorkville's Lexi Meyer scored all of her team-high 6 points in a one -minute span in helping the Foxes close to within 35-18 just before the end of the first half.
Maine West hit 10 of 15 third-quarter shots, outscoring Yorkville 22-6, and led 59-24 going into the fourth quarter.
"Dylan is a thorn in many offensive players' sides," said Maine West coach Kim de Marigny. "She's relentless. She has the heart of a lion and it's never say die. She wants a ball so badly the she will throw her body on the floor to get it."
Where does VanFleet's fire come from?
"In my first basketball game in grade school I lost a tooth," recalled VanFleet. "I just picked it up, gave it to my mother and continued playing. I guess that's a metaphor that been with me through the years. I just have a lot of energy and I look for ways to make my mark on this team."
"Maine West played very good defense," said Wensits. "They defended us well and disrupted our rhythm. They are the defending state champs for a reason. Next time we play a team like this we hope to learn from this. Our team played hard."
"Today we knew we had the size advantage," said de Marigny. "I thought they would go with the 3-ball more with their quickness but we were quick as well."
VanFleet knows what it will take to keep the Warriors' success train rolling.
"Our defense is good because we all cover for each other," she said. "We come into a game ready and we anticipate each other's moves. We just need to work as hard as we can and be close. That's why we were so good last year. Everyone showed up and worked hard. We want to give this team their identity."