Marist dominates Lake Zurich
In theory, Lake Zurich had a slight advantage in Monday's game against Marist.
The RedHawks had already played a game against Lincoln-Way West in the morning in the 1st Annual Morton College Girls Basketball Christmas Tournament.
The Bears came into the game with fresh legs in comparison to the RedHawks.
Unfortunately for the Bears, that didn't matter nor did it come into play. Marist relied on a robust second and third quarter effort to pull out a dominating 62-43 win over Lake Zurich in the opening day of the Morton tourney.
Instead of the RedHawks wilting toward the end of the game, the Bears fell into a second-half slumber. The Bears (8-6) were limited to 19 points in the final two quarters, with Marist (11-2) gaining control of the game due to a 19-point third-quarter outburst.
"We knew they already played this morning, so we didn't know if they would have legs, but they hit shots," Lake Zurich coach Chris Bennett said. "There's no doubt they hit shots, some really nice shots especially in that run. We didn't box out and gave them too many second chances and you can't do that against good teams."
Lake Zurich junior Brooke Wahlund finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds and teammate Alayna Soukup added 13 points and hit 2 3-pointers. Baylie Parks poured in 12 points.
Bennett said Wahlund, a 6-foot guard, has picked up her play in December.
"Brooke has been doing really well the last two weeks," Bennett said. "She kind of struggled back in early December and gone back to her niche which is rebounding and then using rebounding to score. She does a great job passing out of the post, done a good job last couple of weeks getting comfortable in the post."
Wahlund said RedHawks hurt the Bears with their outside shooting and aggressiveness. Marist buried 9 3s, led by senior point guard Kira Chivers, who made 4 3s to end with 20 points.
"Marist is a great team and hit a lot of good shots," Wahlund said. "Our shots just didn't fall today, and we have some things that we need to clean up. I like our potential. We were kind of expecting them to be a tired from their first game, but they came out strong."
Bennett said his team can learn from Monday's tough loss, mainly late in the season when its two freshmen, Avery Cooper and Molly Friesen, gain more experience.
"We love playing in the best tournaments," Bennett said. "We love playing great teams and hoping we can get three more games out of this and fix some things and get ready for the second half of the conference."