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44 | January 25, 2018 | The Mokena Messenger sports

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Girls Basketball

Warriors get revenge after Thanksgiving tourney title loss to Knights

Steve Millar

Freelance Reporter

Lincoln-Way West’s girls

basketball players have not

forgotten what happened

the first time the Warriors

played crosstown rival

Lincoln-Way Central this

season.

In the championship

game of the Lincoln-Way

Central Thanksgiving Tournament

Nov. 21, the Knights

jumped out to an 18-0 lead

and beat the Warriors 63-57.

When the teams met again

Jan. 16, West’s primary mission

was an obvious one.

“We had to get off to a

better start than last time,”

junior guard Tara Hastings

said.

Hastings made sure the

Warriors got off on the right

foot this time, scoring 10

of her game-high 22 points

in the first quarter as West

topped the host Knights 58-

37 in a SouthWest Suburban

Red game.

“We had a chance to redeem

ourselves for a loss,

which was big,” West coach

Ryan White said. “We’re

battling for a conference title.

We still control our own

destiny, and we wanted to

leave here still controlling

our own destiny and not

needing any help. So, this

was a big win.”

Taylor Gugliuzza finished

with 16 points and eight

rebounds for the Warriors

(20-3, 5-1), and Tara Gugliuzza

scored 10 points.

Abi Baumgartner led

Central (10-12, 3-3) with 10

points and nine rebounds,

while Natalie Spudic contributed

eight points and

eight rebounds.

The game was tied 5-5

midway through the first

quarter before Hastings hit

back-to-back 3-pointers to

give the Warriors the lead

for good.

The Knight’s Abi Baumgartner goes up for a shot against the Warrior’s Taylor Gugliuzza

Jan. 16 during an intradistrict matchup against Lincoln-Way Central.

Photos by Julie McMann/22nd Century Media

“It was really big,” Hastings

said. “I was able to hit

some shots and get the team

going.”

West led 14-10 after a

quarter, a sharp contrast to

the 24-6 deficit it faced after

one in the teams’ last meeting.

“We wanted to make sure

we came out strong right

away,” White said. “It was

huge for us to get off to a

good start.”

Taylor Gugliuzza had a

big second quarter, scoring

eight points, to help the

Warriors open up a 32-21

halftime lead.

“In the beginning of the

game, I was passing up shots

and not being as aggressive

as I should have been,” Taylor

Gugliuzza said. “Tara

handled everything in the

beginning, though, so that

was great.”

West scored the first 10

points of the second half to

put the game away, extending

the lead to 42-21. The

Knights did not score in the

first 4:50 of the third quarter.

“We did a good job defensively

in the first half,” Central

coach Dave Campanile

said. “We were able to contain

some of their guards a

bit and keep it pretty close.

“Then the third quarter

really hurt us. We were already

kind of cold offensively,

and we went colder

than cold. I told the girls we

were mostly getting good

looks. You just have to believe

and knock those shots

down.”

The Knights finished just

5-for-34 in 3-point shooting.

“We have the size advantage,

but West does a great

job with their zone, so if

you don’t shoot well, it’s

going to be a long night,”

Campanile said. “I think

maybe West looked back at

that game in November and

thought it didn’t go the way

it should have. We knew

they’d give us their best

shot.”

Molly Ryan added five

points and five rebounds for

the Warriors. Ryan cracked

the starting lineup with

guard Sydney Swanberg

out after suffering an injury

early in the teams’ previous

game against Andrew.

“Sydney’s tough to replace,”

White said. “She’s

capable of scoring 20 any

night, and she rebounds for

us. Everyone’s picking up

the slack, though. We’re

scoring like we normally

were.

“Molly gives us a little

more size. There’s been no

drop-off. Everyone’s picked

each other up, which has

been great to see.”

It was the eighth straight

win for the Warriors.

“All of us work together

as a team really well,” Taylor

Gugliuzza said. “Since

Central’s Lindsey Harvey takes a 3-point shot as West’s

Tara Gugliuzza tries to contest it.

we don’t have many post

players, other than Molly,

that makes it tough, but we

all work off each other.”

Haley Ragland and Haley

Stoklosa scored four points

each for the Knights.

The game capped a very

busy 72 hours for Central,

which played two games

Jan. 13 and two more Jan.

15 in DeKalb’s Martin Luther

King Jr. Day Invitational.

“I think we need a bit of

a mental break,” Campanile

said. “We had a couple

long days up in DeKalb and

a quick turnaround for this

game. It was hard just to get

them excited and ready for

another game.”

Campanile said he hopes

his team can hit its stride

soon.

“We’ve got some adversity

with a couple injuries

and we’re struggling a bit,”

he said. “We battled some

tough teams early in the season,

played a really difficult

schedule, and the idea was

that it’d pay off in the end.

“We just need to keep

working hard, hopefully

have some gas in the tank

for the end of the year and

finish strong.”

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