IC Catholic Prep making adjustments
IC Catholic Prep seems to be figuring out how to play in new coach Todd Fisher's girls basketball system.
The Knights defeated Evergreen Park 40-30 Wednesday in the third-place crossover game of the IC Catholic Thanksgiving Tournament. The Knights (3-2) went 3-1 in the tournament, the only loss coming Tuesday in overtime to Lemont.
Fisher sees progress, slowly but surely.
"He has a good style of play, I feel like," said Knights junior Alia Johnson. "Not as much pressure. He points out trying to build our basketball IQ, which is important. Not really telling us everything we need to do but we have to know what creates open plays and how to move on defense."
"It's been fun," said Fisher, who came to ICCP in the off-season after several years coaching Walther Christian. "It's a fun group of kids. They've been working hard. I know it's a little transition with a new coach and new things, but the kids are working hard. That's what I respect about them."
The Knights seem to be picking up Fisher's 1-2-1-1 zone trap full-court press and half-court trap well, forcing 36 turnovers. They led 14-5 after one quarter, and the margin hit 15 before Evergreen Park whittled its deficit down to 26-19 by halftime.
"Our method is we like to start out hard from the start to give us momentum," said Johnson, who led her team with 12 points. "So it kind of helps us set the pace of the game more."
"It seems like this team likes to press," added Fisher, crediting tall kids with long arms at the top of the press. "This team likes ball pressure. And we hit shots too."
Evergreen Park pulled within 5 points with 3:03 to play, in part because the Knights committed 8 turnovers in the final eight minutes after committing just 7 in the first 24 minutes.
"That's been a talking point too," Fisher said. "We get the turnovers. We need to get good shots up. But also we need to take care of the ball too."
But the Mustangs didn't score again. Meanwhile, the Knights hit 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch between Johnson and senior Annie Guinan.
"We just needed to recover from that," Johnson said of the Mustangs' rally.