Timothy Christian earns way into tournament championship game
Timothy Christian's Hannah Schuringa did the dirty work in the paint on Saturday.
Her teammate Sureya Alex handled the ballhandling duties and hit some late pressure shots.
The Trojans' junior combination proved to be too much for Walther Christian to handle. Schuringa scored a game-high 16 points and Alex added 10 in a 45-35 victory over the Broncos in the semifinals of the Lisle Holiday Cage Classic.
The Trojans (10-4) enter new territory -- at least in recent years -- by taking on Rosary in Monday's 8 p.m. championship game at Lisle High School.
Timothy Christian coach Jill Groenewold couldn't recall the last time the program played in the Lisle title game.
"It's been a long time, probably late '90s," she said.
Schuringa and Alex chose to focus on the recent history of the program.
"In our high school career we have not even been on the winner's side of the bracket," Alex said. "To be in the championship game in our third year of the tournament, we are so ready to go after our day off."
Alex was steady late in the game against the Broncos' pressure defense, helping the Trojans limit their turnovers and hitting a key 3-pointer from the wing to pad the lead to 39-31 with 4:25 left. Alex added two free throws to raise the lead to 41-31 with 2:26 remaining.
"Hannah and Alex have played steady all week," Groenewold said. "Sureya did a nice job running our offense and wasn't too disturbed by their man-to-man pressure. Hannah is just Hannah. She has a lot of good gifts and finished around the hole. It was a great team effort."
The Broncos mounted a third-quarter comeback to get back in the game, scoring the first five points of the third quarter after trailing 26-12 at halftime. The Broncos cut the deficit was cut to eight points, but Alex scored on a layup to end the third for a 36-28 lead.
But the Trojans extended their defense and limited driving lanes for the Broncos, who only scored two baskets in the fourth and managed just two points in an 11-possession stretch.
In the first half the Trojans shrugged off a slow start to blitz the Broncos in the final 13 minutes of the first half. Schuringa scored 10 points to spark the Trojans to a comfortable 26-12 lead at halftime.
"My game is a lot of layups and that was open sometimes during the game," Schuringa said. "I tried to take advantage when I had a good opening or cut."