Fenton has plenty to smile about

 
By Stan Goff
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/13/2022 9:53 PM

Fun times are being experienced by the Fenton girls basketball team this season.

The Bison are having a blast piling up wins, and even missed shots often lead to good things, as evidenced by a number of second-chance baskets in Thursday night's 58-38 defeat of visiting Glenbard East in Upstate Eight Conference play.

 

With a pair of 6-foot sisters helping dominate the boards and a roster full of 3-point shooters, the Bison improved to 15-2 overall and 7-2 in conference with the win. Gracen Haska and Elizabeth Aguirre each scored 14 points for Fenton, while Gracen's older sister, 6-1 senior Sophia Haska, added 7 points and 11 rebounds.

"I think we just played like we were having fun and we played intensely and that's what made the game basically," said Aguirre, who connected on four 3-pointers. "We were just focusing on playing smart and not throwing away the ball and that helped us get the win."

What also helped was that Gracen Haska, a sophomore, worked inside for six baskets and also added 7 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. She's really enjoying her time on the court this season, as well as her time off the court talking basketball with her sister.

"Working with my sister is really exciting and it creates a really good connection," the younger sibling said. "Everything kind of meshes because we know where we're both at all the time. It's really cool to me. It's like we're playing in the driveway. It's good to kind of mentor each other and talk about what went wrong and what we did good at it. It helps to have someone by your side."

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The Rams (8-14, 6-4) did their best to keep the game tight until the middle of the fourth quarter. The visitors trailed just 9-7 after one quarter and 19-16 at the half, before falling behind by 10 after three quarters after Fenton's Hailey Miller hit a 3 and Gracen Haska scored inside late to make the score 37-27. Glenbard East cut the deficit to single digits in the final quarter with the help of guard Catey Carney, who finished with a game-high 16 points, but the Bison pulled away late.

"They had a lot of second chances. Rebounding was definitely a key, you know, they're a very physical team," Rams coach Nicole Miller said. "Definitely their posts inside do a real nice job.

"We kind of bridged the gap a little in the third quarter but then they'd just come down and shoot a 3 and take the wind out of our sails a bit."

Bison coach Dave Mello is having fun with a squad that went 5-11 last season but finished the summer season on a high that has carried over into the winter campaign.

"It's fun to be 15-2 but we honestly don't talk about the record," he said. "The only time we did was after we lost to South Elgin Tuesday night and we asked how many of them have been 14-2. None of them raised their hands. Most of these girls play volleyball together and there's a connection. They're having a lot of fun but the main thing is the passing has improved so much, which is why we're shooting less 3s."

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