Girls Basketball: Richards takes down ThorntonThornton's Keylaiah Ford and Richards' McKayla Smith battle for a rebound in a semifinal of the Bobby Bolton Classic Friday at Richards High School.
Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Who says size matters?
Despite giving up height in the frontcourt, the Richards girls basketball team came out of the locker room aggressive, dominating the glass from the get-go in their 39-22 victory over Thornton on Friday night.
Leading the way on the glass were forwards Brianna LeBeau (nine points, 15 rebounds) and Allison Stazak (six points, nine rebounds).
“I realized we could be physical going into the game,” LeBeau said. “But we’re short on post-players this year, so [Stazak] and I have to help each other out and be smart with our fouls.”
Richards (2-0) jumped out to a 14-2 lead with five minutes to play in the second quarter, repeatedly scoring on put-backs around the hoop. But the Wildcats (1-1) began to claw into the lead, thanks largely to Richards inability to convert from the charity stripe (10-for-26).
Thornton’s Jaccarra Reeves’ steal and three-point play finished a 7-0 run, putting Thornton within five. But Wildcats could never get any closer, trailing 18-10 at the half.
After a back-and-forth third quarter, Richards senior Samantha Kusta (13 points) put the the game out of reach midway through the fourth. Kusta’s third triple of the night put Richards up 33-18.
The win puts Richards into the the title game of their home tournament, the Bobby Bolton Classic. Richards will face Lincoln-Way East tomorrow at 2:30pm.
“We’ll need to play hard tomorrow [in order to win],” LeBeau said. “We’re like a big puzzle sorting out the pieces. Everyone needs to know what they are doing.”
Lincoln-Way East 58, T.F. South 28
The Griffins (3-0) received scoring from nine different players, led by Taylor Johnson (16 points) and Caitlin McMahon (11 points). 16. T.F. South was paced by Dominique Brooks (10 points, nine rebounds).