Glenbard South hands Fenton 1st loss
Allie Mizwicki and Brooklynn Moore are in the early stages of their high school basketball careers.
But on Thursday night, the Glenbard South young duo played like varsity veterans.
Combining to score 44 points, they helped lead the Raiders to their third straight Upstate Eight Conference win with a 65-56 decision over previously undefeated Fenton in Glen Ellyn.
Mizwicki topped all scorers with 25 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter as the home team thwarted a Bison comeback attempt. The sophomore guard went a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line over the final eight minutes; as a team, Glenbard South (4-4, 3-1) connected on 11-of-12 attempts in the fourth.
"We brought the intensity and we were able to finish strong," said Mizwicki, who saw varsity minutes during the shortened 2020-21 season. "We were able to control the ball. Brooklynn was finding me when I was open, we were all working well together. Everyone was finding each other when they were open."
Moore made arguably the biggest play of the game, breaking the press and going in for a layup after the visitors had pulled to within 55-53 with 2:47 left. The freshman forward posted a double-double, totaling 19 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four steals. She scored 10 of her points in the opening half as the Raiders led 29-28.
"The whole team has been very welcoming and supportive of me," said Moore when asked about playing varsity basketball as a freshman. "And the coaches really help me, telling me what to do.
"Our intensity has really picked up (during the win streak). Now that we've seen we can win, we know we have to try to go for that. We have new coaches plus even though we all know each other, we haven't played together much. It's a process but we are definitely trusting each other more."
Senior Brittany Miller also checked into double figures with 13 points while adding seven rebounds and three steals. She scored five points in the third quarter as Glenbard South upped the margin to as many as eight.
"We are definitely an inexperienced team," Glenbard South coach Eric Daca said. "We've got some youth. And even with our seniors, a few of them didn't play last year due to COVID and some of them who did, didn't get much playing time. But it's starting to click and everyone is getting comfortable.
"We have new coaches, new players and a new system. It's about trying to find our groove together and today it all clicked."
Fenton (7-1, 1-1), which earlier in the season captured the Rich Township tournament championship, was making its return to the court after a nine-day layoff due to COVID. Averaging 67 points a game coming in, the visitors hung tough but could never quite get over the hump. The Bison's defense did force 22 turnovers.
Gracen Haska contributed 18 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Kaitlyn Hoffing had 11 points and five steals and Sophia Haska and Hailey Miller tallied seven points apiece. Freshman Izzy Delgado also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in her first varsity game.
"Our first time back in the gym was an hour practice this morning," said Fenton coach Dave Mello. "But we've never been a program that makes excuses. We talked about it before the game, the game was on our schedule and you've got to get after it. We are not making excuses, Glenbard South played well, all the credit goes to them.
"But I'm very proud of our girls, they kept battling back. Every time they started to pull away, we came back. This was a great learning experience and now we will get back in the gym and get better."