Girls Basketball: Maggie Lyon returns from injury to lead New Trier to D-C final
Updated: December 29, 2011 11:16AM
New Trier got a scare when star guard Maggie Lyon suffered a sprained ankle two minutes into the third quarter of Wednesday’s Dundee-Crown Charger Classic semifinal with Fenwick.
But Lyon got the ankle taped and returned two minutes later to lead the Trevians to a 71-68 victory and a shot at their second tournament title in three years.
Lyon finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and four assists. Her free throw with 14.6 seconds remaining capped the scoring before a three-point try by Fenwick’s Maya Garland rimmed out at the buzzer.
“Obviously we just hoped for the best,” New Trier center Jessica Blackwell said. “We knew that [Lyon] is tough and she could get back and help us. But if she was going to be out we were just going to try our hardest.”
New Trier (12-2) led by seven when Lyon was injured and by six when she returned. The Northwestern recruit never considered sitting out the rest of the game.
“No way,” Lyon said. “I don’t care what [the injury] was; I was going to go back in. It was really early in the third quarter and we really had some momentum, so I felt like I would be letting my team down if I didn’t go back in.”
With Lyon favoring her right ankle, Blackwell stepped up her game, scoring nine of her 17 points in the third quarter, including six in a row before a three-pointer from Lyon gave the Trevians their largest lead, 60-47, heading into the fourth quarter.
Lyon got plenty of help from her teammates as guard Brigit Ieuter tallied 11 points and reserves Colleen McConnell (10 points) and Emma Rossi (eight points, six rebounds) also shined. Blackwell, a 5-11 senior, also contributed on defense, drawing the fifth foul on Fenwick star Meredith Boardman with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter.
“I think when I went back in they were probably running some plays for the girl I was guarding because I was probably a little slower in my step, but I felt like my teammates really picked me up and helped me bring the ball up the court,” Lyon said. “Obviously it hurt a little bit but I think once I got in the game the adrenaline kicked in and we really wanted to get in the championship game.”
The Friars (11-4) didn’t go without a fight, battling back to within 70-68 on a three-pointer by Marek Burchett with 1:54 left. Burchett scored a game-high 27 points, including five three-pointers, but missed a layup that would have tied the game with 32 seconds left.
Jade Owens tallied 17 points for Fenwick, while Boardman added eight points and 10 rebounds in a fast-paced contest that wore out both teams.
“Especially three days in, it’s a really tough tournament and you could definitely tell that we were pretty tired today,” Blackwell said. “They play a really fast-paced game and we thrive off that, too, so I think this game was perfect for us.”
New Trier will face Bartlett, which beat Fremd 70-61 in Thursday’s championship game. Bartlett is seeking its first Charger Classic crown, something Blackwell has already experienced.
“It’s amazing,” Blackwell said. “We won it when I was a sophomore and I was a part of that so I’m super-excited to be in the championship game tomorrow. We’re going to put up a fight, for sure.”