The Evanston Township High School girls’ basketball team is off to a solid start in spite of early season injuries to seniors Leiya English, Nichelle Campbell, Bianca James along with freshman Sierra Clayborn.
Regarding those injuries, head coach Steve Wool said, “We are starting to get back to full strength.”
The Wildkits participated in the Deerfield tournament on Nov. 18-27 and went, 4-1. The Kits beat North Chicago in the season opener, 69-30, on Nov. 18. From there, they beat Deerfield, 50-29, on Nov. 20, Lake Forest, 68-28, on Nov. 2, lost to Zion-Benton, 53-41, on Nov. 24 and then beat Grant, 36-30, on Nov. 27. Against Grant, Shannan Liorens led the way with eight points.
Regarding the Zion-Benton game, Coach Wool said, “They got us pretty good. But give Zion-Benton credit, they played a good game.”
On Nov. 30, in the home opener, the Kits beat Deerfield for the second time in ten days, 50-35. The Kits were led by Seara Clayborn who scored 13 points, while Alexa Bolden grabbed nine rebounds in the Kit’s fifth win of the year.
The Kits then opened Central Suburban South Conference play against Glenbrook South winning, 40-30. In that game, the Kits were able to overcome an early, 10-2, deficit.
“That was a huge win for our program,” said Wool. “The Clayborn twins (Sierra and Seara) and Liorens came in and changed the game.”
With the win, the Kits improved to, 6-1, overall. The Kits were scheduled to play Conference foe Maine South on Dec. 7, the day this paper went to press. Coach Wool said, “It should be a great game. Maine South just beat New Trier in overtime so they are, 1-0, in Conference like us.”
With Conference play under way, Wool said, “It is going to be the toughest Conference in a while. There are five legitimate contenders.”
After Maine South, the Kits play Waukegan tonight in Beardsley Gym in Evanston, Glenbrook North on Dec. 14 and Niles West on Dec. 17. Then they begin the Dundee Crown tournament on Dec. 27.
“Those are two teams [Waukegan and Glenbrook North] that if we play at our level, it will not be an issue,” said Wool. “If we play our game, I think we’ll be fine. They are going to have to match our intensity.”
When asked what is the key to keeping up their solid play, Wool said, “Consistency.” He added, “I think our depth is big, we can probably go 11-12 deep this year.”
The coach added, “We’ll find out what we’re made of in the next few weeks. We are looking forward to some big games this year.”
If all goes to plan, look for the Kits to be in the thick of the Conference race the rest of the way.