Girls Basketball: Lincoln-Way East rolls by Joliet West
Updated: December 13, 2011 9:32PM
Lincoln-Way East’s Taylor Johnson doesn’t play defense because her coaches tell her to.
The senior guard does it because she genuinely likes it.
“It’s the strong point in my game,” Johnson said. “It’s important to pressure the ball because then the team can get some steals. It throws the dribbler off, and I can get the steal too. The whole team can benefit.”
Johnson’s defensive prowess was on display Tuesday as the Griffins hosted Joliet West in the SouthWest Suburban Blue. Finishing with nine steals and 20 points, Johnson led No. 12 Lincoln-Way East to a smooth 67-35 win.
“We can be great defensively (as a team),” Johnson said. “We’ve already progressed, and we’ve been working at it hard in practice. It’s starting to show in games now.”
The nine steals set a program record for steals in a game. Jenna Rubino held the previous record with eight.
Caitlin McMahon (15 points, 12 rebounds) and Meaghan McMahon (10 points, five rebounds) contributed for Lincoln-Way East (6-0, 2-0). Khadija Cooley had nine points and Lanita Hinton eight for Joliet West (1-5, 0-2).
Leading the defensive charge, Johnson prevented West from getting into an offensive rhythm the entire game. Johnson scored on a variety of layups and mid-range jumpers while Caitlin McMahon patrolled the lane for the Griffins.
McMahon scored back-to-back buckets in the second to start off a 10-0 run that gave East a 33-12 lead. Johnson finished the third quarter with back-to-back layups, both scores coming off of steals at midcourt.
“We’re a good defensive team,” Lincoln-Way East coach Jim Martin said. “We wanted to keep (Joliet West) in front of us and don’t let them penetrate, take away the easy layups. We just work at it (defensively).”