By Pat Brozynski

Sometimes the ball has a mind of its own

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Mama said there'd be days like this...

Hinsdale Central coach Tom McKenna was not pleased with some of the turnovers his team committed during its 54-34 loss to New Trier Tuesday.

"It kind of looked like a bad day in the pool hall," he said. "The ball was going everywhere but it wasn't going in the pocket. It was like somebody hit the cue ball and all 15 balls are flying off the table."

***

After four years on varsity and 10 games every year against Central Suburban South teams that are thoroughly familiar with you, perhaps no one is looking forward to college more than New Trier's Maggie Lyon.

Or at least playing an occasional nonconference game like Tuesday's contest at Hinsdale Central.

"I would argue that we have the toughest conference in the state," the 6-foot-1 Northwestern recruit said. "We have Maine South, Niles West, Evanston, Glenbrook South, Waukegan...all these great teams, especially playing them so many times.

"This is my fourth time around playing them and their coaches. We know them really well and they know us really well. It's hard to come out with a new offense and new defenses that they don't know.

"It's nice to play new teams like this," she added. "They're a good team. They have good players. It's nice to see somebody different."

***

Tuesday at Hinsdale Central, New Trier coach Teri Rodgers emphasized working on some things her team did not do particularly well in last week's loss to Evanston.

"We came out in the second half and did some really good things," she said. "Like finishing strong, being a little more aggressive around the basket. The first half we were tentative around the basket and not being as aggressive. We did a much better job of that in the second half."

Despite her team's 54-34 victory, Rodgers is not looking forward to playing the young Red Devils in a year or two when 5-10 freshman Gabrielle Rush, 5-11 sophomore Maddie Roglich, 5-9 freshman Sydney Griffin and 6-2 sophomore Jenna Broz have a little more experience.

"Hinsdale Central is really young," Rodgers said. "I told (Hinsdale Central coach McKenna) Tom I don't want to play him in a couple of years. I really like his point guard (Rush) only being a freshman."

***

Hillcrest 5-9 senior guard/forward Brittany Wilson has signed a letter of intent to play for Ashford University, an NAIA school in Clinton, Iowa. Wilson averages 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game for the 15-2 Hawks. Wilson plans to major in business administration.

***

It's an age-old question: what to do when you have a big lead late? Do you play aggressively, or just hope to take time off the clock?

Plainfield East first-year coach Missy Mitidiero and her young team faced that problem Friday at Romeoville. The Bengals might have been caught somewhere in between, watching their 41-23 lead evaporate under the weight of a 30-10 run by the hosts over the final 12 minutes.

"It comes with maturity, about learning the game, about basketball IQ, all that kind of stuff," Mitidiero said. "What we had a problem with was that we gave them a spurt where we didn't do the things that gave us the lead.

"We didn't rebound, we gave them second-chance opportunities and we turned over the ball," she added. "That ignited them. That gave them confidence. I just wish we could close out these games. We'll get there."

***

A player to watch over the next four years is Plainfield East freshman Faith Suggs. Suggs, an adept ballhander, shooter and all-around player, had 11 points and five rebounds in a losing effort Friday at Romeoville.

"She's a phenomenal athlete," Plainfield East coach Missy Mitidiero said. "She works on her game all the time. It's a blessing to have her to kind of help start Plainfeld East basketball and to help being that person that binds everybody together."

The 6-foot Suggs, who studied ballet before focusing exclusively on basketball, scored a team-high 20 points in a five-point loss to league-leading Oswego East earlier this year.

"She's a tireless athlete," Mitidiero said. "She does it on the floor and leads by example. That's all you can ask from a player, let alone a freshman. She works tirelessly on her game and tries to understand the knowledge of the game."


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This page contains a single entry by Back Row published on January 14, 2012 8:55 AM.

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