After falling to arch-rival New Trier on Jan. 11, the Evanston Township High School girls basketball team was able to bounce back against Central Suburban League South Conference foe Glenbrook South on Jan. 18. In that game, the Wildkits prevailed by a score of 41-37.
The Kits trailed 21-15 at halftime in their game against Glenbrook South, but they held the Titans to 16 points in the second half to escape with the four-point victory.
The Kits were led in scoring by Tyler Mayne, who tallied 12 points and five rebounds. With the victory, the Kits improved to 15-6 overall and 6-1 in Central Suburban League South Conference play, which gave them sole possession of first place in the Conference race.
“It is always tough to play a Conference opponent the second time around. I thought they played us really well, but we were able to pull it out at the end,” said Coach Brittanny Johnson regarding her team’s performance against the Titans.
“I think as a team we have learned through our injuries that there is a certain way we have to play. I think [the fact] that we changed it up [with different lineups] in that game and then we used that style of play on Saturday could be a really big turning point for us.”
Regarding Tyler’s performance, Coach Johnson said, “We made the decision to move Tyler off the ball. I think at first it took some adjusting, but now she is living in that space and has been awesome. She is just a player that can do everything on the court and is becoming one of our most important players.”
From there, the Kits took on Bishop Noll on Jan. 19 as part of the MLK Dream Classic at Marshall High School.
The Kits made it two victories in a row as they prevailed by a score of 78-46. Tyler led the Kits’ scoring attack once again as she finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Ariel Logan chipped in eight points and nine rebounds in the contest.
“[Bishop Noll was] a team that came in with a really good record. I think playing the night before and having a scare from GBS really prepared us for that game,” said the Coach. “It was a total team win, everybody stepped up and played well, and it was a really fun game to coach.”
With the victory against Bishop Noll, the Kits improved to 16-6 overall. When asked how she feels the season is going so far, Coach Johnson said, “It has been a tough season because we have dealt with a lot of injuries. It is not even just Ambrea [Gentle]’s injury, we came into the season without SyAnn [Holmes], and without Kayla [Henning] being 100 percent.
“They are still kind of battling their way back from their injuries. Then with missing Delaney [Brooks] now with her knee injury, it has been a year where we have had to rely on our whole team to step up at different moments.
“It has been awesome as a coach to see different kids step up. And it has not been the same players, it has been different kids each game stepping up. It is a really fun way to play. We are able to play a lot of kids now.”
Coach Johnson added, “I think we are at a point in our season where we should be getting everybody back within the next couple of weeks. I think adding everybody back to what we have been doing now is going to make us a much better team down the stretch.
“I think we are really looking forward to [the stretch run], we are looking forward to getting everybody back, looking forward to hopefully solidifying a Conference championship [by] winning our last three Conference games and just putting us in the best place possible for our Sectional and for our seeding for Sectionals.”
Next, the Kits take on Maine South on Jan. 24 at Beardsley Gym in Evanston.
“It is a huge game,” said Coach Johnson. “It is always difficult to play Conference teams that second time around. They are coming off a huge win against New Trier. So, it is going to be really good game. Hopefully we get a lot of fan support. I know the girls are really excited for the game on Thursday.”