Girls Basketball: WW South’s rigid ‘D’ haults New Trier
Updated: January 14, 2012 6:43PM
Any basketball player will tell you that playing defense is all about effort, grit and moving your feet until your lungs burn.
Wheaton Warrenville South embraced the pain on Saturday.
The No. 24 Tigers won 49-45 over No. 20 New Trier at Willowbrook’s 22nd Annual McDonald’s Shootout, using a 14-0 scoring spurt in the third quarter that was spearheaded by rock-solid defense.
“We were fired up after a close first half,” Tigers senior Kasey Gassensmith said. “We were ready to take off. We were getting defensive stops and turning them into offense.”
New Trier’s Northwestern-bound senior Maggie Lyon had 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals but the Tigers held her to nine points on the day.
“Maggie Lyon is a great player and we just had to be aware of where she was,” Gassensmith said. “We just wanted to contain her.”
A physical and hard-fought first half saw WW South (16-2) grab an 11-10 lead after a quarter but New Trier (13-6) take an 18-16 lead by halftime. The Trevians’ Emma Rossi (20 points) and the Tigers’ Sierra Bisso (12 points) led their teams with six first-half points apiece.
The Tigers’ third-quarter run gave them a 30-22 lead, capped by a steal and layup from Meghan Waldron, who finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and steered the ship through New Trier’s defensive pressure down the stretch.
“I was really impressed with (Waldron),” New Trier coach Teri Rodgers said. “She split us over and over when we pressed them.”
Rossi’s 20 points was a career high for the Trevians’ senior. Gassensmith led WW South in scoring with 15 points and added three steals, while Maggie Dandsdill had seven points and five rebounds for the Tigers.
“We knew we were getting good shots in the first half so in the second half we wanted to just continue to play good defense,” Tigers coach Rob Kroehnke said. “We couldn’t let down defensively because we know that New Trier is never going to quit.”