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The Trinity basketball team made it look easy against a talented Hillcrest squad on Saturday.
The Blazers (12-2) were in control the entire game as they defeated the Hawks 85-60 in River Forest. When the Hawks cut the deficit to within eight to end the first half, the Blazers opened the second with unanswered layups by senior forward Shannon McGinnis and junior guard Lauren Prochaska. The victory was pretty much firmly at hand from that point.
"We knew we had to come out really aggressive, because (Hillcrest) is an aggressive team," said Prochaska. "We knew we had to come out and play our fast pace. We've really been working on pushing the ball. I think the fast pace and the energy of the crowd just fueled us and we ran with it."
The Hawks got on the board first to start the game, but the Blazers went on a 9-0.
Passing was the theme of the night for Trinity, as 26 out of their 31 baskets (14 of their first 15) came off assists.
"A lot of us have been playing for three years together," Prochaska said. "The chemistry is there. You get in the game and you know you can start passing, it was really good today."
Good ball movement by her team wasn't a surprise to senior guard Taylor Nazon. "We're usually a very unselfish, very good passing team. It stood out today because we made all of the shots. Everybody stepped up today, I'm really proud of our young kids. They did really well."
Prochaska led the Blazers with 20 points, while tallying six assists and seven steals. Nazon celebrated her 18th birthday on Saturday with 18 points, five assists, five rebounds, and three steals. McGinnis notched 12 points and six assists.
The Hawks tried to gain some momentum to open the fourth quarter with a three-pointer from Dana Gettis, but the Blazers answered as freshman Annie McKenna sank her second shot from behind the arc to quell the uprising. McKenna finished with 10 points, while sophomore Mary Dillon sank three three-pointers and also had 10 points.
Nazon said it was nice to celebrate her birthday with a win.
"(My teammates) told me they'd come out and get a win for me," she said. "I'm very excited. It was a big game, and I couldn't ask for anything more. It's a great birthday gift."
The Blazers are still down three of their top players due to injury, but freshman guard Miriam Wilcher practiced with the team on Friday in hopes to be back within the next couple of games. Trinity is set to take on the Mother McAuley in a Girls Catholic Athletic Conference matchup on Thursday night. Prochaska said for all the Blazers it's been a good team-building experience stepping up in the absence of their injured teammates.
"We're really working well together," she said. "When (the other team) is pressing and you can see your open teammate and dish it out to them, it's great."