Girls basketball: DuPage County notebook
One of the many worries about the lack of high school sports in Illinois came from athletes who were hoping to use their senior season to show how their game has progressed and earn a chance to play in college.
Two DuPage County girls basketball players certainly can relate, and they are making the most of the short season.
Timothy Christian's Hannah Schuringa and Glenbard East's Lauren Huber both are stating their cases in the first two weeks of the five-week season they have what it takes to play collegiately.
Schuringa is averaging 21.2 points, 10 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals through the Trojans' first five games. That includes 25 points and 10 rebounds against Rosary, 18 points and 11 rebounds against Ridgewood and 22 points vs. Bishop McNamara -- all games Timothy won going away.
Schuringa, in her second year as a co-captain, is a member of the National Honor Society who assistant coach Peter Semeyn calls humble, a great team player and an encourager.
"With such a short season we have been especially intentional about working hard every practice and taking every game seriously and coming out strong," Schuringa said. "I think we have been doing well at that and we have been learning a lot from every game, and playing each possession and play with 100% effort. It is hard physically and mentally to pack so much into such a short time."
She's extremely busy, one of three Trojans playing both badminton and basketball right now. On Wednesday, she had a badminton match in the afternoon and basketball practice at night. After running cross country in the fall, there's a chance Schuringa could be a four- or five-sport athlete depending on what she decides to do in 2021's unique spring and summer seasons.
Huber also has come out strong, reaching the 1,000-point mark when she scored 21 last week against Larkin despite not playing varsity as a freshman.
"She's an amazing player and young lady and I think she can play on the college level," Rams coach Nicole Miller said.
The two have something else in common.
Huber is closing in becoming the school's all-time scoring leader. That record belongs to 2004 grad Katie Mielke, who had 1,247 points.
Schuringa finished last season with 1,164 career points, top five in school history. She likely would have broke the school mark of over 1,500 points with a normal schedule.
Return to normal:
About two weeks into this short season, coaches and players seem to have adjusted to all the changes.
"It's just amazing to see the kids," Miller said. "Walking into the gym is the most normal thing we do. Playing basketball in this pandemic, our whole lives are different, teaching is different, but when we all step into the gym, it's the same. Having everybody come together in this moment, as soon as they step in the game it's still the game."
With 12 seniors, Miller is especially grateful to be back. She's learned how to sub differently with the extra timeout for mask breaks, she likes her team's shooting despite wearing those masks, and she's excited that the Upstate Eight is ending its season with a conference tournament.
There's been plenty of fun matchups already, including Benet's 51-40 win over Naperville North on Wednesday in a battle of unbeatens. Here's a few more to look forward to in the week to come:
On Friday, Glenbard South travels to South Elgin in a matchup of solid Upstate Eight squads. Both need a win to keep pace with Bartlett and Glenbard East.
The first battle of Wheaton bragging rights takes place Saturday at Wheaton Warrenville South. The Tigers will try to play spoiler against a Falcons team that returns all five starters.
The DuKane Conference race already has taken a few twists and turns. Lake Park lost its opener to St. Charles East, then handed Wheaton North its first loss.
That came after the Falcons beat St. Charles North. The North Stars followed that loss by giving Geneva its first defeat.
Which leaves surprise St. Charles East with first-year coach Michael Murphy and a couple promising freshmen currently in first at 3-0. The Saints' next five DuKane games will be quite a challenge against St. Charles North, Geneva, Batavia, Wheaton North and Lake Park.
The North Stars, Geneva, Wheaton North and Lake Park all have 1 loss, right behind St. Charles East. This race, which ended in a tie for the title last year between Lake Park and Geneva, should come down to the wire once again.