Stevenson rolls by Mundelein
Overheard in the bleachers, during an early timeout in a girls basketball game Friday night:
"What's new?" one parent of a Stevenson Patriot said to another.
"Sitting here, that's what," the other replied.
The "here" was the unusual setting -- the gym at Twin Groves Middle School in Buffalo Grove -- for a high school hoops game between North Suburban Conference teams Stevenson and Mundelein. Stevenson's normal home hardwood has been designated part of a COVID-19 vaccination site.
What wasn't new Friday? A Stevenson victory. The Patriots won their third straight game to open the truncated 2021 season with a 64-22 defeat of Mundelein's Mustangs.
Patriots freshman guard/forward Emory Klatt gave her talent-laden squad a shot in the arm away from Stevenson's Sports Center by playing like a third-year varsity vet. The 6-footer finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals inside Twin Groves' cozy quarters.
Nine other Patriots tallied at least 2 points.
"Still too early," Stevenson coach Ashley Graham said of pinning down her team's identity. "But I can't say enough good things about our returning players and their leadership. They're certainly helping Emory and our other young players (sophomore forward Kate Arne and freshman Kendell Williams), who are getting tons of minutes."
Stevenson (3-0, 2-0) scored the first 22 points of the contest and led 22-2 after one quarter and 41-11 at the break. Mustangs coach Greg Dorgan and his young crew -- 4 freshmen and 4 sophomores -- stayed positive, from start to finish, against one of the state's elite teams.
"You saw their attitudes on the court; they were great, never got down on themselves," Dorgan said. "In every game I look for little victories along the way.
"I saw some tonight."
Mundelein freshman forward Rylan Foster (5 points, 4 rebounds) notched her team's first points of the game in the final minute of the first quarter. Junior forward Allison Binz paced the Mustangs (0-2, 0-2) with 6 points, and forward Abby Rounds, another freshman, collected a team-best 5 boards.
Patriots junior guard Simone Sawyer netted all of her game-high 15 points in the first three quarters and was one of three Stevenson hoopsters with three steals, joining Klatt and junior guard Ava Bardic (11 points). Arne struck for 6 points and came down with 7 rebounds, and Williams capped her 7-point night with a trey that expanded the advantage to 38-9 at the 1:57 mark of the second quarter.
Stevenson's most impressive stretch on offense started with a 3-pointer by Bardic at 3:29 of the third frame and ended with a steal-and-layup by Klatt about 90 seconds later. In between: a '3' ball by senior Nikki Ware and a triple by junior Elli Pease.