Montini falls in finale at own tourney
Every time Lyons Township point guard Ella Ormsby was open around the three-point stripe on Thursday, her teammates found her.
Then she found the range.
Ormsby sank five 3-pointers and scored 15 points, sharing team-high honors with fellow guard Olivia Mezan, to lead the Lions to a 61-43 victory over host Montini in the final game of the Montini Christmas Tournament.
It didn't seem to matter where she was on the court, either. Ormsby sank her first 3 from the left corner off a pass from Ally Cesarini, triggering an 8-0 run that gave the Lions (14-3) a 12-4 lead.
Winona State-bound star Hailey Markworth found Ormsby on the right wing for the second 3-pointer, which broke a 22-22 tie in the second quarter.
Mezan assisted on Ormsby's third trey, which came from the left wing and put LT up 28-24 with 1:59 left in the half. That started a 28-8 run that lasted into the early part of the fourth quarter and included two more triples.
"She's very capable of it and we know that," LT coach Meghan Hutchens said. "I was always taught to feed the hot hand, and she was the hot hand tonight.
"We kept letting it ride and letting her feel good about it. She deserved it and hopefully there are more of these games to come for her."
Markworth, who finished with nine points, five assists and four rebounds, wasn't surprised at Ormsby's efforts, which were not limited to scoring. The 5-foot-8 junior also led all players with nine rebounds, all on the defensive end, to go with three assists, three steals and a block.
"We trust her as a shooter every game and this game, especially, she it up," Markworth said. "She always gets her hands on everything on defense, so she's a great player on both ends."
Ormsby is in her second year on varsity but first as a starter. She's taken over the point guard position, allowing Markworth to play the shooting guard and attack the basket more.
"I just felt super confident once my first shot went in," Ormsby said. "I just wanted to keep shooting."
Ormsby made 5 of 8 shots and while she stopped shooting in the fourth quarter as the Lions protected their large lead, she never ceased making a pest of herself on defense. She deflected a pass out of bounds just before she was subbed out with a minute remaining.
"She's come a long way from the beginning of the season," Hutchens said. "I think that when your offensive game is flowing for you, a lot of other things start to flow for you.
"She knew what her place was in our team defense today and she did her job."
The Lions held Montini (10-5) to 16-for-53 shooting, including a 5-for-24 showing in the second half.
"I think communication helped with a lot of it," Ormsby said. "We've been working on communication and help-side defense and not helping strong side.
"It is really a collective effort on defense, especially in this game."
It was a collective effort on offense, too. The Lions were again diversified as Mezan and Ormsby were joined in double figures by Cesarini, who had 12 points and three steals. Center Izzy Lee chipped in six points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Shannon Blacher tallied a game-high 17 points for Montini, while Victoria Matulevicius added 13 points.
"They are a very good team," Montini coach Shannon Spanos said. "They have a ton of weapons and we knew that going in.
"We knew that they had good shooters and our game plan was to close out on them, but they're very talented. They are doing well for a reason."
Indeed, the Lions went 3-1 in the tournament, losing only to Naperville North.
"We've played a lot of good teams recently, especially in the past two weeks," Markworth said. "There's been ups and downs, but we're definitely on a high right now."