Girls Basketball: Balanced Bolingbrook steamrolls Lockport
Updated: January 28, 2012 5:26PM
Bolingbrook’s Keiera Ray is an honors student who carries a 4.0 grade point average. Next fall, she will be heading to the University of Pennsylvania of the Ivy League to study and play basketball.
Ray is taking AP calculus and said that math is her strongest subject. The Raiders hope that the combination of Morgan Tuck inside and Ray on the outside adds up to a fourth consecutive state title.
Ray had 14 points, five steals and four assists and Tuck added 18 points, six rebounds and four steals Saturday as No. 2 Bolingbrook improved to 18-1 overall and 10-0 in the Southwest Suburban Conference with a 89-32 victory over visiting Lockport.
Ray nailed a pair of three-pointers in the first 3:35 as Bolingbrook jumped out to a 16-4 lead. But shooting has not always been the 5-foot-9 guard’s forte.
“No, not at all,” she said. “I could not shoot for anything. It’s taken a lot of hard work, just working hard in the gym after practice and in the summer, getting more shots up, getting more repetitions.
“I do everything and anything I can to help the team win…defense, attacking the basket,” Ray added. “It’s a team effort, so whatever I can do to contribute, that’s what I will do.”
Ray has been asked to share the point guard position with junior Kennedy Cattenhead, the position that was manned the previous four years by current Tennessee star Arriel Massengale.
“I had to turn into a point guard to help the team,” Ray said. “I think we’ve handled it pretty well. We still have work that we can do, we still have to work on some things before the playoffs. But I think we’re handling it pretty well.”
Work is something that Ray has never shied away from, whether on the court or in the classroom.
“What makes her a little bit different than most people is that she’s a kid who’s worked so hard on things, including the little things, that she just made herself a big-time player,” Bolingbrook coach Anthony Smith said.
“It wasn’t all natural ability,” he added. “She put in the time, the dedication, the hard work and sacrifice and got it done.”
Smith believes Ray’s best days are still ahead of her.
“She’s just coming to the surface,” he said. “She’s going to be a pretty good player.”
Nia Moore scored 12 points and Cattenhead and Allie Hill each had 10 for Bolingbrook on Saturday. Taylor Quain led Lockport (5-15, 1-8) with nine points and Hannah Hollatz and Nora Polaski each had eight.
“We wanted to make sure that we played better than we did the first time we saw them,” Lockport coach Krista Peterson said. “I thought we did that. I was happy that we got to the free-throw line as much as we did. We made our free throws, and to be able to score 32 points against them, I’m pleased with that.
“Playing Bolingbrook only makes us a better team and better individually,” she added. “Their defensive pressure is something you can’t match in practice. Having the chance to go up against them in a game, you’re only going to get better from it.”