Girls Basketball: West Aurora blows past RosaryRosary's Maddie Kombrink shoots over the outstretched arms of West Aurora's Abriya Zeitz in West Aurora on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 9, 2012 10:04AM
There wasn’t a whole lot of help for West Aurora senior guard Alexis Nelson last year, light years better than her teammates.
But this offseason, those other teammates all played AAU, took private lessons and worked on their fundamental skills.
Nelson had a lot of fun playing with the new and improved Blackhawks’ team Tuesday night, blowing past Rosary in all facets of a 61-36 home win.
“We weren’t really happy with our defense, but we’ve been working really hard on being patient with our offense,” West coach Connie Siljendahl said. “We’re feeling comfortable with ourselves hitting the open shot instead of rushing things. I think they played fluid tonight.”
Nelson hit two 3s in the first quarter on the way to a game-high 18 points, while Alexis Wiggins came off the bench to knock down two first half 3s of her own in an 11-point performance.
“We have more kids that can play this year and we’re using that to our advantage,” Siljendahl said.
Blackhawks’ guard Dazmine Chaney scored nine, but even bigger contributions were made in the rebounding department as Abriya Zeitz scored seven points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Liz Skaggs scored five and hauled in eight boards, leading to second-chance points.
“They were easy putbacks, too, right up off the glass,” said Royals coach Dave Beebe, whose team was outrebounded 33-17. “That just kills you because you work hard on defense, you stop them on one shot and they get an easy putback. If we don’t get better at that it’s going to be a long season for us.”
The Blackhawks (3-3) also connected on 15-of-26 free throws spread evenly across four quarters, while the Royals (3-4) were just 2-for-9 with all attempts coming in the fourth quarter and the game out of reach.
Rosary forward Karly Tate scored all 10 of her points in the first half, while Maddie Kombrink scored eight to go with six rebounds. But the Royals, down just nine at half, gave up an 8-0 run to open the third quarter.
“We were really flat,” Beebe said. “We’re really inconsistent. We’ll show you five good minutes of basketball and five minutes of really bad basketball. We have six hours of practice to get ready for St. Edward Saturday and I hope we pick it up real fast.”