St. Viator lights it up in win at Blenner Classic
St. Viator's girls basketball team connected for 11 3-pointers on Tuesday.
Allia Von Schlegell had one but it may have been the most important.
The freshman guard from Downers Grove hit a 3-pointer with 1:38 left in the first half to give the Lions their first lead of the game at 22-21 and they never trailed again in a 54-45 win over Resurrection. It was the Lions' first game of its own Blenner Classic.
Viator (10-4) trailed by as much as 16-9 in the first half.
After Von Schlegell's big go-ahead shot, senior Joy Bergstrom tossed home the first of her 3 3-pointers en route to a 20-point effort with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocked shots and 1 steal.
"I thought Joy was outstanding on both ends of the floor," said Lions coach Jason Raymond. "She had to guard their post player (6-foot senior Christina Simonetti, who had a team-high 8 points). Joy played real aggressive."
The South Dakota-bound Bergstrom hit all her 3-pointers when the Lions were rallying from the first half deficit.
"We've had a tendency to start slow but then we start hitting our shots and we come out in the second half and get on a run," Bergstrom said.
The Lions (10-4) got their biggest run in the third quarter when freshman Grace Gerdes-Grabowy and sophomore Mia Bergstrom (16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals) hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and moments later Mia Bergstrom hit another of her game-high 5 3-pointers for a 9-2 run and 42-34 lead.
Viator began the fourth quarter with a f7-2 run, getting a free throw from Mia Bergstrom and layups from four-year starters Nora Ahram and Joy Bergstrom.
Also hitting 2 3-pointers for Viator was Gerdes-Grabowy.
"We have a couple of freshmen so they are still learning at the varsity level," Raymond said. "Their best basketball is ahead of them. They've shown flashes of greatness. I think the second half of the season will be really big for them and they'll turn the corner at some point."
Bandits coach Jon Palicki, a Wheeling High School graduate and former assistant coach in Raymond's program, liked how his team (7-5) turned up the pressure from the get-go on Tuesday.
"We came out and pressured the ball well at the beginning of the game and I thought my kids did a really nice job attacking the basket, creating some turnovers and hitting the boards, well," Palicki said. "We hit the 3-point barrage the last two days. Prospect had 11 on us the night before. But we'll keep pressuring the ball. We play 11 to 12 kids and we'll keep doing what we're doing."
"Credit Resurrection," Raymond said. "They played really hard. They got after us on both ends of the floor. We were coming off a long break since we didn't play on Monday and it took us a while to get into the rhythm of the game. But a lot of credit goes to Resurrection and how aggressive they were. They had us back on our heels for a little bit. I'm proud of my girls and how they played with composure and played through their aggression."