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The Kits Girls B-ball Team

After beating archrival New Trier 45-36 on Dec. 20, the Evanston Township High School girls basketball team looked to carry the momentum gained in that victory to the annual Dundee Crown Holiday Invitational on Dec. 26-29.

The Kits did just that to finish fourth in the holiday tournament. The Kits opened the tournament on Dec. 26 with a 63-41 victory over St. Charles North. Alecia Cooley scored 20 points and junior Sierra Clayborn added 16 in that game. But the Kits lost Cooley, their senior center and captain, for the remainder of the tournament after she turned her ankle during the game.

The next day, the Kits beat Barrington 50-46. Head Coach Elliot Whitefield was pleased with how his team played without Cooley, one of their leading scorers. “The team did an excellent job playing with poise down the stretch without her for the first time,” he said.

Then on Dec. 28, the Kits took on Naperville Central in the semifinals and lost 55-32. The defeat put the Kits in the third-place game against Fenwick, which the Kits lost 75-71 to finish fourth. Against Fenwick, the Kits were led by junior Dashae Shumate, who scored 22 points and nine rebounds with junior Seara Clayborn adding 18 points and six rebounds in the loss.

“We went toe-to-toe with Fenwick and I truly believe we would have had a great shot to win the tournament if Alecia did not get injured,” said Whitefield.

Coach Whitefield says that despite the losses in the last two games, he is pleased with how his team has performed to start the season and knows what must happen in order to keep it up the rest of the way.

“The season has been a lot of fun. I hope the student body and the community start to come out and support the girls basketball program,” Whitefield said of his team, which the Chicago Tribune recently ranked No. 7. “We are getting contributions from a number of different players. This team is very unselfish and as long as we stay healthy, we should be very tough come tournament time. We are 15-2, but our losses have been without Cooley.”

The Kits will try to get back in the win column against St. Charles East on Jan. 5, when they expect to have Cooley back. “Last year we played at their place the night after our big win against New Trier. We came out flat and played the worst game of the year,” said the coach. “The returning players have not forgotten about it and are very much looking forward to paying them back.”

The Kits Boys B-ball Team

In boys basketball, ETHS finished in seventh place in the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament. Though prior to the tournament, on Dec. 20, the Kits had lost to New Trier 55-33, the Kits opened the tournament on Dec. 27 with a 68-61 win over Lake Zurich. In the seventh-place game on Dec. 28, the Kits beat Plainfield East 58-50, led by Chris Rudnicki, who scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers. Pete Winslow had 8 points and 10 rebounds and Dante Henley chipped in 8 points and four rebounds. In the second half of that game, the Kits made 11 of their 17 shots to help pull out the victory.

With the win against Plainfield East, the boys team improved to 7-8 overall and look to get back to .500 when they visit St. Charles East on Jan. 5. From there, they will take on Oak Park- River Forest on Jan. 8.