Lake County girls basketball notes: Ketter's providing scoring punch for improving Grant; Grayslake N. notches rivalry win
The points have piled up recently for Grant's Melissa Ketter.
Ketter, a senior, had 23 points against McHenry, 20 against Jacobs, 17 against North Chicago and 16 more against Grayslake Central.
Her strong play coincides with the overall improved play of the Bulldogs who scored wins over McHenry (66-43), Jacobs (47-43) and North Chicago (58-13). Grant lost to Grayslake Central 50-43 in conference action.
"Melissa continues to be a leader for us on and off the court, and as her coach, it's been proud moment after proud moment watching her wrap up her senior season," Grant coach Andrea Weaver said.
Weaver also likes the play of Nevada Holm, who continues to lead the team in scoring and rebounding. Lily Capulong, Weaver noted, is consistently putting up points while being "a phenomenal ballhandler," she said. "Lily is fun to watch play and really talented."
Alyssa Sandquist had 5 steals against Jacobs and made four 3s against Lakes.
"I have to get a shout out to Alyssa," Weaver said.
Grant was 10-13 overall and 5-4 in Northern Lake County Conference action to start the week.
"I love watching these girls come into their own as a team," Weaver said. "They play to their strengths as individuals and as a team. We are starting to see this benefit us more and more."
Grayslake North update:
After a loss to Lake Forest (62-43), the Knights picked up conference wins against previously NLCC unbeaten Grayslake Central (46-40) and Wauconda (57-49). North was 16-8 overall and 7-2 in NLCC play to begin the week.
Peyton Gerdes continues to lead the county in scoring at 25.9 points per game, while Makayla Campbell is averaging 7.3 points. Gerdes also averages 10.9 rebounds, while Campbell is at 8.2 rebounds.
"We are playing more as a team every game," Knights coach Brian Frericks said. "The more we continue to trust each other and play as one, the harder we have been to guard."
Frericks cited recent strong play from Gerdes and Lucy Roscoe, in particular.
"Peyton continues to be the rock of our team," he said. "She is someone we rely on heavily ever game to lead us and she has done a fantastic job."
Frericks explained Roscoe is the hardest worker on the team, "giving every drill, every game her max effort, and it has really paid off," he said. "Her hustle and effort on both ends of the floor are contagious and she is only a freshman."
Frericks also has been impressed by his team's resiliency of late. "In our two most recent wins against Grayslake Central and Wauconda we had to deal with both teams going on big runs," he said. "We were able to remain composed and stay together to survive the runs and come out of each game on top."
Round Lake update:
The Panthers have put together a recent 6-game winning streak, which included winning their own Martin Luther King tournament with a 36-35 victory over Palatine in the title game. Round Lake came into the week 15-10 overall and 4-5 in NLCC action.
Of statistical note, veteran Lilli Burton went over the 1,000 career point mark against Waukegan. She averages 14.3 points, 6.9 rebounds 3.2 steals and 2.9 assists. Aniyah Moody averages 13.4 points and 11.6 rebounds a contest.
"Our team has started to play well together," Panthers coach Molly Hennig noted. "Before the break, we only had four games with a complete roster, but since returning we have mostly been at full strength and it is all starting to come together now for us. Aniyah, Lilli and Judy Cerroblanco have been our leading scorers, but everyone is always contributing on both ends of the floor."
During that winning streak, Burton is averaging 19.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.8 steals. She had 22 points, 12 rebounds and 7 steals in a win against Wauconda. She also had 23 points against Palatine and 24 points against Waukegan.
In that same timespan, Moody is averaging 16 points, 13.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
"Lilli and Aniyah's ability to go inside-out and find each other on the court has been a huge key for us," Hennig said.
Moody had 20 points and 21 rebounds in a recent win over Lake Forest Academy.
"We seem to be clicking at the right time," Hennig said. "The girls enjoy being around each other and playing together, which makes it easier to push each other and get better every day in practice."
Grayslake Central update:
During a recent two-week run, the Rams downed Wauconda (37-25), Wheeling (61-48) and Grant (50-43) while losing to Grayslake North (46-40). Central was 13-9 overall and 8-1 in NLCC play to stat the week.
Madison Hoffmann is leading the way for Central, averaging 14.6 points, 2.5 steals, 2.2 assists and 1.7 blocks, while Annie Wolff averages 6.9 rebounds.
"We are working hard to get everyone healthy and to keep the team on an even keel," Rams coach Steve Ikenn said. "We have talked about staying steady and not getting too high after a win or too low after a loss."
Ikenn said Hoffmann and Wolff have been the team's most consistent players all year "and continue to put up strong numbers," he said.
One key jolt of late has come from Katelyn Marcelain who, "has really stepped her game up lately in all areas," Ikenn noted.
Over the last four games, Marcelain averaged 7 points, 8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals.
Ikenn is seeing plenty of positives as the calendar inches closer toward playoff basketball.
"We are playing a more balanced offensive game, which makes us harder to defend," he said. "We are also getting a little healthier, which gives us a little more depth. As you come down the stretch, all the games are big since most are conference games and you are trying to get prepped and ready for the playoffs."
Lake Zurich update:
The Bears are currently tied with Libertyville atop the North Suburban Conference. Lake Zurich came into this week at 18-5 overall and 8-1 in NSC action. Lake Zurich lost to Stevenson 46-35 and defeated Cary-Grove 40-24 in a meeting of former Fox Valley Conference foes.
Avery Cooper leads the team in scoring at 11.2 points, while Baylie Parks is right with her at 11.0 points. Brooke Wahlund averages 7.6 rebounds, while Parks is at 6.2 per game. Parks also averages 3.6 assists.
Parks and Cooper have missed the past few games due to injury. Coach Chris Bennett lists both of them as day to day.
Bennett noted the play of freshmen Layne Nordstrom, Alex Nowak-Tice and Leah Gilbertson has been notable of late.
"Layne, Alex and Leah have been playing some big minutes for us recently," said Bennett who noted Nordstrom started two games, while Nowak-Tice and Gilbertson have come off the bench.
"We are dealing with some minor injuries that are keeping a few of our starters off the floor," Bennett said. "The upside is some of our bench kids are having to play bigger roles, which will hopefully pay dividends down the road when we get our players back."
Two wins over Lake Forest and Lake Zurich put the Patriots at 7-3 in North Suburban action and 17-8 overall to start the week.
Emory Klatt continues to dominate, averaging 19.4 points and 12.3 rebounds, while Nisha Musunuri is at 9.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2 assists. Kate Arne averages 8.8 points and Kendell Williams is averaging 4 assists.
Coach Ashley Graham explained Stevenson enjoyed a good holiday run and then went 2-2 in a four-game stretch against Carmel, Libertyville, Lake Forest and Lake Zurich, losing to Libertyville at the buzzer and Carmel after leading by 6 points at one point in the fourth quarter. Stevenson has now lost 6 of its 8 games by a total of 17 points.
"We have the belief we can hang with anyone, but it's about finishing games," Graham said. "We continue to work on situations each day in practice in order to grow our mindset and confidence. It was great to see us close out against Lake Forest."
In the Lake Forest game, Arne was fouled with 3 seconds to play with Stevenson trailing by a point. Arne made both free throws in the 1-in-1 situation.
"Kate was probably in the most pressure-filled situation that I have been a part of in my career," Graham said. "She has played a lot of basketball and has a ton of experience. I know she was ready to get the ball in that situation. The play was for her out of bounds. I was so happy and thrilled to see her confidence and belief in herself at the line. It was a great moment and a big moment for her."
Graham also noted Sydney Rosland and Emma Brooks are providing offensive help as well. "It is great to see them have so much confidence to shoot the ball," Graham said. "It has given us a different dynamic offensively as of late."
Rosland scored 16 points against Lake Forest and Brooks had 11 against Lake Zurich.
Vernon Hills update:
The Cougars were 14-9 and 6-2 in Central Suburban North to start the week.
Vernon Hills seniors Ava Barszcz, Alexa Cieslinski, Kailee Irvin, Grace Koepke, Jasmine Paddock and Kate Sear helped the Cougars to a recent 49-40 win over Maine West. Barszcz sang the national anthem. The Cougars also scored a recent nonconference win against Buffalo Grove (60-41).
"We have a great group of seniors, two junior starters and two freshmen who are learning and growing," Vernon Hills coach Paul Brettner said.
Koepke leads the Cougars at 14.7 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Cieslinski is at 7.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while Barszcz averages 9.4 points.
"We have been playing better on both sides of the ball," Brettner said. "The kids are improving in their roles."
Vernon Hills also has been bolstered by the play of Keira Thomas on defense and Elyse Davis.
"Keira is playing some great defense and Elyse is playing well on both sides of the ball. She is shooting the ball well from 3," Brettner noted.
The Corsairs started the week 18-5 overall and 3-2 in East Suburban Catholic action. Carmel dropped a 49-40 game recently to Benet and beat Marian Catholic 34-24.
Jordan Wood leads the team in scoring at 15.3 points to go with 6.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Fellow senior Mia Gillis is at 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists.
Wood reached the 1,500-point total for her career with a 16-point effort against Marian Catholic.
Coach Ben Berg said Wood and freshman Josie Hartman continue to play well.
"Since the holiday tournament, we are beginning to find our identity," he said. "I like that the team, for the most part, plays with poise when it has to."
Carmel starts the ESCC tournament Saturday.
The Eagles lost recent games to Grant, Antioch and Round Lake, but coach Brian Phelan was pleased with how his team battled to take late leads in all three games.
"We are playing well as we head toward the playoffs where anything is possible," said Phelan, whose team was 8-13 overall and 2-7 in NLCC action at week's start.
Jess Oman averaged 18 points in those three games, while Clarity Turney has been in double figures scoring of late and playing great defense, Phelan noted. Turney also is closing in on the program career steals record, while Janee Pullen is closing in on the career school record for 3s.
The Bulldogs dropped recent games to Lake Forest (42-25), Round Lake (50-41) and Grayslake North (57-49). Wauconda led going into the fourth against Round Lake and had a lead against North in the third. Wauconda was 9-10 overall and 4-5 in NLCC play to start the week.
Wauconda is playing without Helen Macey, who was injured before the holiday break.
"We are in a rough patch of games after losing Helen to injury," Wauconda coach Jaime Dennis said. "We are trying to learn how to fight through the tough times and find the positives to build on. With a young team that is really important."
In that positive department, Dennis said Ella Franck has stepped things up defensively. She guards the opponent's best players each night. Dennis added Alexia Manalo has taken charge at point guard "and has done a nice job running the floor," she said.
Defense continues to progress as well for the Bulldogs. "We are starting to see some of the things we work on in practice come out in a game, especially on defense," Dennis said. "We have played better team defense."
The Mustangs split a pair of recent games against Palatine (30-23 loss) and Zion-Benton (54-41 win) to sit at 9-14 overall and 3-6 in NSC action.
Freshman Casey Vyverman had 14 points, 5 steals and shot 4-for-5 from 3 in the Palatine game. She also had 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals against Zion.
Vyverman is averaging 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists, while shooting 44.1 percent from 3 (48 made) and 47.6 percent overall from the field. Junior Rylan Foster leads the team at 13.2 points and 7 rebounds per game. She is shooting 81.3 percent from the foul line. Senior Gracie Werner averages 7.2 points, 5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2 steals.
Mustangs coach Sarah Teipel said Vyverman, Foster and Werner are setting the tone with their defense, confidence, leadership and dedication to the team.
"Casey has really stepped up for her team with her confidence on offense and scoring," she said.
Teipel said Mundelein has moved forward since the holiday break in a number of categories. "We are getting more disciplined defensively, building confidence and building consistency," she said.