Lyons Township High School West Suburban Silver
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Downers Grove North can’t stay with LT
Updated Feb 4, 2022 11:47 PM
When senior Olivia Mezan transferred to the Lyons Township girls basketball program before last season, she quickly realized the potential of her talented and special new teammates.On both ends of the court, Mezan was a big reason Friday why the Lions displayed probably their best quarter to complete a perfect 12-0 West Suburban Conference Silver Division title with an impressive 63-30 victory at second-place Downers Grove North.“I definitely knew right away coming to the team that we’d definitely be winning conference and that we were a really strong team,” said Mezan, who previously played at Montini. “I think we really showed that (Friday). We have so many strengths.”The Lions (24-3) surged to a 19-1 lead after the first quarter by hitting 8 of 14 shots with three 3s and collecting four steals among six turnovers by the Trojans (21-7, 9-3 in Silver) on 13 possessions.The margin increased to 36-12 by halftime with Mezan scoring 11 of her game-high 15 points.“We held them to one point and I think we were sharing the ball really well,” Mezan said. “Our two main strengths are shooting threes really well (11 Friday) and we’re really fast. I feel like tonight we really showed that.”LT won its first Silver title in a full 12-game schedule since back-to-back crowns in 2016 and 2015, its last outright title.Riding a 12-game winning streak and this week receiving the No. 1 seed for the Class 4A LT Sectional, the Lions showed their postseason potential with that first quarter. LT won the first meeting 31-29 in La Grange Dec. 17 on a late basket by senior Hailey Markworth.“Defensively, the first game we played really well against them. We didn’t shoot well. This time we wanted to incorporate it all like we knew we could,” LT coach Meghan Hutchens said. “For them to create seven turnovers and then utilize them at the other end, that’s perfect basketball for us.”“Give LT all of the credit in the world. They were awesome tonight, well-coached,” Downers North coach Stephan Bolt added. “Right off the bat, they were confident and we couldn’t manufacture a stop throughout the first quarter.”In the abbreviated COVID-affected 2021 season, the Lions nearly were perfect in the Silver but shared the title at 5-1 with Downers North and York. LT lost its Silver finale at Downers North on a buzzer-beating bank shot.“What I like about this group is they don’t look at it like we owe team,” Hutchens said. “We just look at it like this is a game where we want to come in and we want to win.”LT junior Ally Cesarini had 14 points and sophomore Elin O’Brien had 12. Other contributors were senior Izzy Lee, Markworth, junior Ella Ormsby.After Mezan scored eight straight points for the Lions with two 3s, they led 30-7 in the second quarter by hitting 12 of their first 19 shots with six 3s.Mezan and O’Brien each had four threes for the game. O’Brien, who equaled her single-game high, has embraced her shooting role as a key sub along with sophomore post Kennedy Wanless.“My biggest role is to get hot and shoot hot, shoot 3s,” O’Brien said. “I sensed (this season) was a special team with five really strong starters and a strong bench.”Senior Kate Gross led Downers North with her eight points, all in the third quarter, with two 3s. Kaitlyn Parker added six points and Ella Sebek five rebounds.Trojans’ starting senior center Eleanor Harris has remained sidelined by an ankle injury since Jan. 8. Minus three starters, the Trojans lost at Oak Park-River Forest 36-28 Jan. 18. LT beat OPRF 67-29 Tuesday behind Lee’s personal-high 26 points.
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Montini falls in finale at own tourney
Updated Dec 30, 2021 9:28 PM
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.
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Downers Grove North can’t stay with LT
Updated Feb 4, 2022 11:47 PM
When senior Olivia Mezan transferred to the Lyons Township girls basketball program before last season, she quickly realized the potential of her talented and special new teammates.On both ends of the court, Mezan was a big reason Friday why the Lions displayed probably their best quarter to complete a perfect 12-0 West Suburban Conference Silver Division title with an impressive 63-30 victory at second-place Downers Grove North.“I definitely knew right away coming to the team that we’d definitely be winning conference and that we were a really strong team,” said Mezan, who previously played at Montini. “I think we really showed that (Friday). We have so many strengths.”The Lions (24-3) surged to a 19-1 lead after the first quarter by hitting 8 of 14 shots with three 3s and collecting four steals among six turnovers by the Trojans (21-7, 9-3 in Silver) on 13 possessions.The margin increased to 36-12 by halftime with Mezan scoring 11 of her game-high 15 points.“We held them to one point and I think we were sharing the ball really well,” Mezan said. “Our two main strengths are shooting threes really well (11 Friday) and we’re really fast. I feel like tonight we really showed that.”LT won its first Silver title in a full 12-game schedule since back-to-back crowns in 2016 and 2015, its last outright title.Riding a 12-game winning streak and this week receiving the No. 1 seed for the Class 4A LT Sectional, the Lions showed their postseason potential with that first quarter. LT won the first meeting 31-29 in La Grange Dec. 17 on a late basket by senior Hailey Markworth.“Defensively, the first game we played really well against them. We didn’t shoot well. This time we wanted to incorporate it all like we knew we could,” LT coach Meghan Hutchens said. “For them to create seven turnovers and then utilize them at the other end, that’s perfect basketball for us.”“Give LT all of the credit in the world. They were awesome tonight, well-coached,” Downers North coach Stephan Bolt added. “Right off the bat, they were confident and we couldn’t manufacture a stop throughout the first quarter.”In the abbreviated COVID-affected 2021 season, the Lions nearly were perfect in the Silver but shared the title at 5-1 with Downers North and York. LT lost its Silver finale at Downers North on a buzzer-beating bank shot.“What I like about this group is they don’t look at it like we owe team,” Hutchens said. “We just look at it like this is a game where we want to come in and we want to win.”LT junior Ally Cesarini had 14 points and sophomore Elin O’Brien had 12. Other contributors were senior Izzy Lee, Markworth, junior Ella Ormsby.After Mezan scored eight straight points for the Lions with two 3s, they led 30-7 in the second quarter by hitting 12 of their first 19 shots with six 3s.Mezan and O’Brien each had four threes for the game. O’Brien, who equaled her single-game high, has embraced her shooting role as a key sub along with sophomore post Kennedy Wanless.“My biggest role is to get hot and shoot hot, shoot 3s,” O’Brien said. “I sensed (this season) was a special team with five really strong starters and a strong bench.”Senior Kate Gross led Downers North with her eight points, all in the third quarter, with two 3s. Kaitlyn Parker added six points and Ella Sebek five rebounds.Trojans’ starting senior center Eleanor Harris has remained sidelined by an ankle injury since Jan. 8. Minus three starters, the Trojans lost at Oak Park-River Forest 36-28 Jan. 18. LT beat OPRF 67-29 Tuesday behind Lee’s personal-high 26 points.