Girls Basketball: Montini takes down injury-riddled Morgan Park
Updated: November 25, 2011 5:18PM
Montini can thank the hosts for making Friday’s game at the 24th annual Geneva Girls Basketball Tournament with Chicago Public League power Morgan Park just a little easier.
Morgan Park’s Toledo-bound senior guard Kendyl Nunn and 6-1 St. Bonaventure recruit Gabrielle Richmond both sat out Friday’s game with Montini after sustaining minor knee injuries Tuesday against Geneva.
“Geneva beat us up,” Morgan Park coach Thomas Johnson joked, adding, “and they want us to come back next year?”
Without their leading scorers, Morgan Park had trouble keeping pace with the Broncos. Nikia Edom and Kateri Stone each had 12 points, Sara Ross added 10 and 6-foot forward Tannia Brown added 11 points and six rebounds to lead No. 8 Montini to a 58-40 victory.
Montini (3-0) used a 15-0 run over a 7:58 period spanning the first and second quarters to break a 10-10 tie. Eleven of those points came from the free-throw line, where the Broncos were a sizzling 18 of 22 including a nine-of-nine effort from Stone.
“Our defense will keep us in a lot of games,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “I think the different looks we can show people will keep us in the game. Our free-throw shooting has not been the greatest, but today it was good.”
Montini extended the lead to 46-26 on two Stone free throws with 15.8 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but Morgan Park (2-2) refused to go away. The Mustangs closed to within 48-40 on a three-pointer by Debra Jenkins with 5:16 remaining.
“A lot of kids showed us what they can do,” Johnson said. “Today was the first time No. 22 (Taylor Cephas) has played this year. We had a good conversation this morning about why she hadn’t been getting much playing time, but she earned some time today.”
Five-foot-5 sophomore guard Shami Goodman led Morgan Park with 15 points and Cephas, a 5-9 junior, and junior Kiara Carter both had seven.
Nichols was disappointed that Montini could not play a healthy Morgan Park.
“It is what it is,” he said. “We played without (6-1 sophomore Kelly) Karlis. She’s probably our best rebounder and out best defensive player. So we missed her, too. You just got to play and get better.
“We’re young,” Nichols added. “We struggled with some of the pressure. There were some good things that we were doing. There were some bad things, obviously. But it’s three games in.”