By Dennis Mahoney, ETHS Sports Information
Elliot Whitefield wants to put fear into Evanston’s opponents when it comes to trying to accomplish anything against the defense his girls play.
Wheaton Warrenville South definitely got the memo on Nov. 17 in the season debut for both teams at the Schaumburg Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament. After turning the ball over 25 times and scoring just 7 field goals against the Wildkits, the Tigers will not be seeking a rematch any time soon.
Evanston’s suffocating defense tamed the Tigers by a 48-25 margin in the opening game of the round-robin tournament. Whitefield’s squad resumes tourney play Thursday at 8 p.m. versus St. Charles East.
Wheaton mustered just 10 points in the entire first half, then closed to within 22-15 to start the second half. That’s when the winners responded with a 14-0 run that broke the game back open again, fueled by a 13-point quarter from Leighah-Amori Wool.
Wool finished with a game-high 15 points and two blocked shots and was backed up by Savannah Norfleet and Leah Robinson with 9 points apiece. Sarah Struebing paced the Tigers, who shot 7-of-31 from the field, with 5 points.
“That was a decent start for us, but we still have a long way to go,” Coach Whitefield said. “Wheaton was moving pretty well on offense and we did a pretty good job against their initial cutters. For a first game, defensively we did a pretty good job.
“In the third quarter we extended our defense and we attacked them. We need to be an attacking team – without fouling – on defense. I want to demoralize other teams with our defense. I want them to know they’re coming up against a defense that is second to none.”
A layup by Wheaton’s Jasmine Lewis pulled the Tigers into a single digit deficit early in that first half. But the losers only recorded two more baskets in the last 14 minutes of the contest.
Four straight free throws by ETHS junior Krystal Forrester started Evanston’s 14-0 run. Wool addedthe next four baskets – including a pair of 3-point buckets – after only scoring 2 points on 1-of-5 shooting in the first half.