Freshmen spark St. Charles East past Lake Park
St. Charles East freshman point guard Alexis Maridis is an easy player to spot on the court.
At 5-foot-2, Maridis' size attracts attention, but her rapidly evolving game is just as eye-catching.
Maridis, in her second career varsity game, played like a seasoned veteran Saturday, connecting on all 4 of her shot attempts to finish with 15 points to fuel St. Charles East to a 66-46 win over Lake Park in Roselle.
Victoria Kortan also scored 15 points and Emma Yakey added 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers for the Saints.
Maridis said she her lack of lack of height doesn't affect her aggressive game.
"There's so much you can do," Maridis said. "I'm quicker and lower to the grounds, for I'm not going to get the rebounds or do a lot in the post, so I get the ball to my shooters and post players and play from there."
And Maridis certainly did her job against a Lancers' team that returned four starers from last season's Class 4A fourth-place team. She made her lone 3-point attempt and all six free throws to go with 5 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal.
St. Charles East coach Michael Murphy said he's not surprised at Maridis' strong start to her varsity career, even in a high-profile DuKane Conference game.
"Alexis is an outstanding ballhandler and has a really good feel for the game," he said. "When I first met her, I told her that her size in an advantage and not a disadvantage, with a low center of gravity and being low to the ground.
"That's tough to guard, especially when you can go both ways like she can. We've trusted her from day one."
Maridis' fearless approach bringing the ball up the court against pressure and ability to attack the gaps sparked the Saints (1-1, 1-0).
"I've been playing basketball since I was very young, and always had the basketball in my hands," she said. "I've always been a point guard, and just come down confidently and let my natural ability take place."
The Saints broke the game open in the second half with solid shooting and crashing the offensive boards to extend possessions. Freshman guard Alexis DiOrio is the other half of the freshmen "Alexis" starting duo for the Saints. She racked up 8 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Maridis said she's happy to share a backcourt with DiOrio -- again.
"We've been playing together since (we were) younger, and always knew we would come together for high school," Maridis said.
Lake Park (1-1, 0-1) was led by Sara Balli, who buried four 3s for 20 points.
Lake Park sophomore point guard Gabi Burgess hit two 3s for 9 points and 4 rebounds.
"My shot was on today mainly because I've been putting extra work in the morning shooting and during the offseason and quarantine," Burgess said. "Sara also shot well, today, too. It was a tough game, but we will get it back for our next game."