Evanston girls’ basketball coach Steve Wool wants his team to do more attacking rather than reacting. He said that over the last few weeks, the thing that has been hurting the Wildkits is, “We are reacting as opposed to attacking and that’s tough because we want them to be in attack mode.”
On Nov. 25 against Zion-Benton, the Kits were down by only one point at halftime but they could not get any closer the rest of the way partly because of missed free throws and lay-ups. The Kits went six of 24 from the foul line in the 56-40 loss.
“We were in the game, but missing free throws and lay-ups came back to haunt us,” Coach Wool said.
Three nights later on Nov. 28, the Kits played Deerfield in the finale of the Deerfield tournament. In that game, the Kits trailed for the first three quarters, but thanks to a 25-2 fourth-quarter run, they came away with a 46-34 win.
After the game Coach Wool said, “Our girls played with tenacity and heart. We became an attacking team and turned the table quickly. We fought through and played hard.”
Senior captain Erin Rowell led the Kits with 11 points. “She was a really productive player in that game and she’s been a model of consistency for us the whole year,” the Coach said of Rowell’s play.
On Dec. 4, the Kits returned home to Beardsley Gym after the five-game Deerfield tournament and played Waukegan. In that game, the Kits were in attack mode throughout, applying ample defensive pressure, resulting in turnovers and numerous pass deflections. At halftime, the Kits led 37-17. But Waukegan opened the second half with a 7-0 run and seemed to gain momentum. The Kits’ first point came with just over four minutes to go in the quarter with Rowell converting on one of two free throws.
From there, the Kits outscored Waukegan 10-6 and led 48-30 after three quarters. In the fourth, the Kits continued to attack, holding the Bulldogs to four points while putting 21 on the board to prevail 69-34. With the victory, the Kits improved to, 4-3, on the season.
The Kits are scheduled to plan Maine South on Dec. 8, after this paper goes to press. The Kits’ upcoming schedule includes the first of two games against archrival New Trier at Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena on Dec 11, then games at Maine East on Dec 15, and against Niles West on Dec 18. Between Dec. 2 and 30 they participate in the Dundee-Crown tournament.
The Kits have only three players with varsity experience. With such a young team, Coach Wool says, “We’re learning as we’re going, learning how to compete. We’re trying to teach them that’s the process of getting better.”
“Our goal is to get better as the year goes on, and I think we will,” Coach Wool added. If the Kits can stay in attack mode and avoid reacting, the remainder of the season should be interesting.