Weekly Feature

2017-12-07 / Sports

Lady Chief cagers defend tourney title

Iroquois’ girls basketball team won its rematch with Mount St. Mary, 50-41, to defend its title in its own annual Matthew Foster Memorial Tip-Off Tournament Friday.

The Lady Chiefs built up a 35-29 lead heading into the final quarter and held off an early rally by the Thunder to ultimately persevere. Iroquois, which led 25-23 at the half, had to do without the services of Tournament MVP Taylor Quinn, All-Tournament Team selection Riley Reidel and Sarah Wittek for a good portion of the first half after each picked up a pair of fouls in the first quarter.

Wittek was the only one of the three to pick up an additional foul once back on the floor, however, as coach Steve Sokolski said that his players “wound up turning in our best team defensive performance since I’ve been here” to secure the victory.

“It was a close game throughout, but we contest every single shot they took,” Sokolski said. “They only made one three-pointer for the game, and I think that pressure on their shots was a big reason why.”

Quinn finished the game with 16 points and three steals, while Reidel made three three-point baskets as part of her 15-point effort. She also grabbed 13 rebounds, blocked four shots and had four steals.

Wittek chipped in with 11 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks for the victors, who earned their spot in the title game by taking down Middle Early College with relative ease two days earlier, 83-41.

The Lady Chiefs jumped out to an 11-0 lead barely a minute into the contest and never looked back, closing out the first frame with a 27-9 lead that would balloon to 45-23 by halftime. Another solid surge in the third quarter allowed Iroquois, which finished the game hitting 45 percent of its shots from the field, to take a 63-35 lead into the final stanza.

“Everybody got the chance to play a good amount of minutes, so it was a good way to build up some confidence heading into the thick of the season,” Sokolski said. “We were pretty much able to do whatever we wanted to do on offense.”

Wittek led the charge for Iroquois with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Quinn added 16 points and nine rebounds. Meghan Porzio and Leah Shanahan each finished with nine points and nine rebounds, while Logan Streety contributed eight points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Reidel and Emily McLaughlin combined efforts to dish out eight assists and post nine steals for the Lady Chiefs (2-0 overall), who returned to action Tuesday at Sweet Home in a game that ended too late for this edition. Iroquois closes out its week, weather permitting, by hosting Pioneer in its league opener before traveling to Lake Shore on Tuesday.

“If we want to go to the next level, we’ve got to continue to play the way we did in our tournament,” Sokolski said. “We need to be better at handling the ball, though, and to be more consistent from the free-throw line. If we can keep learning and keep doing what we’re doing, we should be OK.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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