Lyons handles Hinsdale Central
Lyons Township starting senior guards Lindsey Hahn and Elli Kosanovich have enjoyed a special basketball bond since fifth grade and an additional soccer bond that began two seasons earlier.
The thought that the dynamic duo's competitive sports career together is ending March 13 surfaced during the Lions' Senior Night Friday against rival Hinsdale Central in La Grange.
"I couldn't hold myself before the game. I lost it. I was crying," Hahn said. "It's emotional but it's also exciting. She's going to do great things in the future and it's going to be good."
Even with mainly just their parents watching and only the seniors' cardboard cutouts along the baselines, the Lions brought the emotion for another strong performance to prevail 59-39 for their fifth straight victory and first in West Suburban Conference Silver Division play.
Hahn had 15 points, Kosanovich 13 points behind four three-pointers and junior Hailey Markworth 11 points for LT (6-1, 2-0 in Silver), which has scored at least 57 points in all victories. Junior guard Lanie Randle had 12 points and two threes for the Red Devils (3-3, 1-2).
"I'm so happy that this senior group got a season because they're very special to this program. I'm glad they got to feel success and feel opportunity," LT coach Meghan Hutchens said.
LT has six seniors -- Hahn, Kosanovich, Annabel Dougherty, Adaora Ezike, Lily Mattern and Mary Murray. Ezike and Mattern joined regulars Hahn, Kosanovich and Dougherty in Friday's starting lineup.
"Senior Night is a big night. Usually we have most of our fans," Kosanovich said. "We don't get to play so much with the other seniors. The camaraderie we had on the court really showed in our win. We really worked together and played hard."
The Lions led for good after Markworth's steal and basket for a 10-9 lead in the first quarter. The Lions outscored the Red Devils 13-3 the final five minutes of the second quarter to build a 31-20 halftime lead.
While Kosanovich had three threes in the first half, the Lions also grabbed 10 offensive rebounds, contributing to 10 more free throws and a 10-point difference (10 for 14 versus 0 for 4).
Ezike had seven rebounds and three blocks. Izzy Lee added five rebounds.
"I've been telling them from day one we can shoot the three-pointer," Hutchens said. "It's just now we have to look for our inside-out option and also for our inside presence to win tough games. I thought we did a nice job of getting everyone involved."
After three varsity seasons together, Hahn will continue playing basketball at Winona State and Kosanovich plans to pursue college soccer through scholarship or as a walk on.
Dougherty will play basketball at Grinnell and Mattern also has college soccer plans. Hahn only played LT soccer as a freshman but greatly possesses the quick and agile skills.
"I would just say that soccer has helped me a ton with "Overall I think the main thing I got out of soccer was getting to play with Elli and those girls. We do play very well together and she is one of my best friends, obviously," Hahn said.
The Red Devils had high hopes after Tuesday's emotional 56-51 overtime victory over Glenbard West and beating Addison Trail 41-27 Wednesday.
They missed 15 shots in the third quarter, which ended with LT leading 46-27.
"The first half defensively, we didn't do a bad job," Hinsdale Central coach Karen Persinger. "We just continued to get a stop, miss a shot and we could not come up with the rebound. It kept putting us behind the 8-ball and we could not get out from under it."
The Red Devils will honor their seniors before Saturday's home game against Downers Grove South, key reserves Madison Ward and Maria Rivera.