Alexa Czyzynski supplied the finishing touch for New Trier’s state-ranked girls basketball team Friday night in Winnetka.
C No. 8 ranked New Trier escaped with its second win in as many tries this year against the Wildkits, now 16-6 overall and 4-3 in league play.
The visiting Wildkits didn’t score again after a drive by Dashae Shumate (game-high 17 points) boosted ETHS to a 35-30 advantage with 2:05 remaining. But even the fact that his team came up short down the stretch didn’t discourage ETHS head coach Elliot Whitefield.
The outcome left Whitefield convinced that the two teams — who should be awarded the top two seeds in the Class 4A Maine East Sectional tournament in a couple of weeks — will meet again with even more at stake.
“After tonight, I’m pretty sure that we’re the team that New Trier would really not like to play for a sectional championship,” Whitefield said. “There is going to be a third time that we play them. Our kids will do everything in their power to make sure there is a third time.
“We gave up four 3-pointers to them on stuff we practiced against, because our awareness just was not always there. We’ll be better prepared for those shots when we face them again. I’m very proud of their effort tonight. I think we showed how much we’ve improved since the first time we played them (a 73-64 defeat). This game opens our eyes to see that we’re as good as any team in the sectional. This will give us a lot of confidence.”
Evanston threw a scare into the Trevians (20-1, 7-0) despite the fact that senior guard Sierra Clayborn was hampered by a foot injury and only scored two points on the night. But her twin sister Seara erupted for seven points in the third quarter (for a total of 8), and Shumate scored five to lift the Kits to a 28-25 advantage entering the final period.
Jackie Welch and Czyzynski did their damage from 3-point range to keep the hosts within striking distance. Czyzynski’s bomb from the right wing with 66 seconds to play sent the Trevians ahead to stay.
The Wildkits limited 6-foot-3 New Trier sophomore Jeannie Boehm to 10 points, but Boehm did contribute two key blocked shots against Seara Clayborn after the Wildkits fell behind.