Lyons Twp. knocks off Glenbard West
To replace leading scorer Lindsey Hahn and a strong senior class after winning a share of the conference title last season, Lyons Township knew it needed consistent team efforts this winter.
On Friday night, that mentality was on full display.
Putting on a clinic in sharing the basketball, the Lions had four players reach double figures in a 69-40 West Suburban Silver victory over a young and talented Glenbard West squad.
Coming off a win over Hinsdale Central on Tuesday, LT (7-1, 2-0) continued its red-hot start to the season, with the lone setback a loss to highly-ranked Benet.
"With us losing some players, we all knew we would have to work together and feed off each other," said senior Hailey Markworth, who will join Hahn at Winona State University next year. "It isn't about having the weight on just a few people, we have to have a whole team effort."
Markworth scored 15 points, eight of which came in the second quarter as the home team built a 35-21 lead. The opening half featured a trio of runs; the Lions opened the game with an 18-2 spurt before the Hilltoppers scored 14 straights points, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Allie Murphy and Sophia Brown. LT, sparked by its full-court pressure defense, then ended the period on a 17-5 charge.
The Lions forced 15 turnovers over the first 16 minutes and 20 for the game.
"We started off in our pressure defense and I thought we ran that really well," said senior Izzy Lee, who topped her team with 16 points. "We forced them to play super quick and I don't think they were used to that. It caused a lot of turnovers. In practice, we've worked a lot on communicating and making sure our defense is a team effort."
Nobody had a better game defensively then Ella Ormsby, who notched seven steals to go along with 14 points and 5 rebounds. The junior knocked down a pair of 3-pointers as the lead swelled to 53-31 at the end of the third quarter. Olivia Mezan also made a pair of 3s and finished with 12 points while Ally Cesarini contributed 6 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals.
"Glenbard West is so well-coached," LT coach Meghan Hutchens said. "They are young but they do things really well and they work as a unit. What we did really well was stick to our game plan. We made sure we were on help side (on defense) and we aggravated them with our press.
"What I love about this team is any one of our starters can score 15 points on a night. You are hard to beat when you are balanced."
Despite not having a senior in its starting lineup, Glenbard West (5-3, 2-2) has had a strong start to the season, with their previous two defeats coming by a combined eight points to Naperville Central and York. Brown led all scorers with 17 points, to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 steals, and Julia Benjamin continued her impressive introduction to high school basketball with 15 points and 4 rebounds.
"Both of those kids have been great competitors for us all season," Glenbard West coach Kristi Faulkner said. "Sophia is a junior and Julia is a freshman. They both work hard every day and they compete, they've got grit.
"(The Lions) are a very good team. They are well-coached and they've got a good group of young women over there. We tip our hat to them, they did a nice job defensively. For us, our goal every day is to get better. We know it's a process. We just have to focus on that and keep working hard and grinding. The key is how do we learn from each situation."
LT has Senior Day on Saturday when it hosts Proviso West before playing both York and Downers Grove North next week. Glenbard West returns to action on Monday against Lake Park.