Soukup helps Lake Zurich earn win over Warren
Junior Alayna Soukup has entered her third year with the Lake Zurich girls basketball team. She has worked her way up the ladder and her experience has started to show that she can be one of a few players to watch for the Bears.
On Friday, Soukup had 7 points and a handful of assists in leading host Lake Zurich past Warren 46-26 in a North Suburban Conference matchup. It was also the Bears' first win in league play.
"I think my experience helps out a lot," Soukup said. "I've been on this team for almost three years now. So, I'm one of the leaders and the players look up to me.
"I do love the team chemistry and how young we are. We do have so much potential. We have a bunch of fresh legs and a deep bench. It will be fun this year to see who steps up."
Soukup has the ability to be like a coach already with her ability on the court and how she looks at the game.
"She is now a junior, but she's a savvy veteran," Lake Zurich coach Chris Bennett said. "She's played more basketball than any ten kids that I know. She has an unbelievable understanding of the game. When we watch film, she sees things and knows things and understands how the game works. She has a great knowledge of the game. Someone will get a great steal with her at the college level."
Lake Zurich (1-2, 1-1) has seen Stevenson in a nonconference game and conference foe Libertyville starting the season. The Bears decided to take on their outside shooting by hitting nine 3-pointers Friday. Erin Stewart had 12 points and four 3s and Bailey Parks 10 points with a couple of treys.
"We were looking to get some confidence and some of our kids hit some shots," Bennett said. "We have the ability and have been working on our shots for the last year and a half. It's a part of our offense, we get a little three-happy and I really don't want to do that like college teams. They just fire, fire and fire."
Warren (1-2, 1-1) tried to stay with Lake Zurich early on but fell behind 16-7 by the end of the first quarter and trailed 27-by halftime.
Zion Levy led the Blue Devils with 16 points.
"I thought as a group we didn't play well against Lake Forest (Thursday)," Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz said. "That's what our challenge is right now, a lot of coaches are looking at focus right now because our kids have been at home all the time. Hybrid or remote learning does not fully focus of what's going on all the time. Without open gyms, without 14 practices before your first game, without summer league, you can't teach the mental part of the game."