Deerfield's defense does in Rolling Meadows
Rolling Meadows sophomore center Roisin Grandberry represented a testing ground for Deerfield on Monday.
The 6-foot-4 Grandberry, who has offers from Illinois, Wisconsin, Providence and Marquette, is one of the top underclassmen in the state.
The Warriors, a team full of elite and fast guards, have one glaring weakness: lack of height.
At least on Monday, the Warriors were able to overcome any question marks regarding their ability to play a team with a true post player.
Deerfield had three players score in double figures and wore out the Mustangs with its defensive pressure en route to a 61-39 victory in the first day of the 1st Annual Morton College Girls Basketball Christmas Tournament.
Grandberry had a big game in limited minutes, racking up 10 points and 13 rebounds.
"I think it's the same every match, whether I'm playing someone as tall as me or not," Grandberry said. "They had some tall girls. I have do the same stuff, still do screen and rolls and not change my game. It's also going to be interesting to see what we can do to get me the best opening, so the screen and roll is what we were looking at for me today, but they doubled it and figured out how to handle that. We can do more to open up more stuff next time."
Grandberry said the Mustangs (8-5) must work on fixing some mistakes from Monday's game. Emily Galvin scored all 10 of her points for the Mustangs in the first quarter.
"I have to work harder because losing is never fun," Grandberry said. "It has to be a team effort. We all work together. There's definitely more I can do, from working harder and hustling in tomorrow's game."
The Warriors' three guards -- junior Lexi Kerstein, freshman Nikki Kerstein and freshman Aubrey Galvan -- combined for 40 points. Lexi Kerstein, a three-year starter, led all scorers with 22 points, 5 assists and 5 steals.
The Warriors (13-1) showed they can attack in a multitude of ways, with junior forward Olivia Kerndt ending with 11 points and 8 rebounds.
"Everybody wants to talk about the mismatches with us not being as big, but with our quickness in the frontcourt, that's an advantage we take all the time and try and tire teams out," Deerfield first-year coach Nicole Keith said. "We live underneath the 3-point line. We shoot a high percentage of shots inside the arc. It's hard when you have three guards that are that good in shooting and playing defense. We're very fortunate in that regard."
The Kerstein sisters and Galvan pushed the pace of the game, bothering the Mustangs with their on-ball pressure and tempo. The Mustangs scored the first 5 points of the game, but fatigue played a big factor in their role. Rolling Meadows, which had two players miss Monday's game, did not score in a 12-plus minute span in the second half that ended with Stacy Dollia's runner with just over a minute left in the fourth.
"Deerfield is a really balanced and a good team," Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. "We had some mental and physical lapses. To beat a great team like that, you have to put it together for 32 minutes. I thought Roisin had a solid game on both ends. I thought she had a lot of energy on defense."