One game at a time for Trinity; Fenwick out of playoffs

Blazers advance to Hinsdale South Sectional; Friars finish 13-18

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Lauren Recchia

Contributing Reporter

After seeing its streak of 10 consecutive regional titles come to an end last year, second-seeded Trinity showed no signs of letdown with a 49-33 victory over seventh-seeded St. Ignatius (17-12) Thursday night in the 4A Argo Regional final.

DePaul-bound guard Lauren Prochaska led Trinity (24-5) with 15 points, as the Blazers held their GCAC Red rivals to 3-of-14 shooting in the second and third quarters. Trinity scored 10 consecutive points to take a 39-18 lead with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter. 

Annie McKenna scored 14 points for Trinity and Kaitlin Aylward contributed 12.

"We definitely didn't want a repeat of last year," Prochaska said. "We don't take anyone lightly or for granted. We are taking it one game at a time."

St. Ignatius senior Gabby Diamond scored a team-high 10 points and her pair of 3-pointers were the Wolfpack's only baskets in the third quarter.

Trinity took a 21-11 lead at halftime with a defensive effort that held St. Ignatius to one basket for nearly 10 minutes in the first half.

Prochaska and Aylward combined 14 points in the first half to outscore St. Ignatius' entire team.

The Blazers will play third-seeded Kenwood, a 69-55 winner over Riverside-Brookfield, at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Hinsdale South Sectional semifinal.

- See more at: http://www.highschoolcubenews.com/news_article/show/352187?referrer_id=608534#sthash.8SLUf5JX.dpuf

After seeing its streak of 10 consecutive regional titles come to an end last year, second-seeded Trinity showed no signs of letdown with a 49-33 victory over seventh-seeded St. Ignatius (17-12) Thursday night in the 4A Argo Regional final.

DePaul-bound guard Lauren Prochaska led Trinity (24-5) with 15 points, as the Blazers held their GCAC Red rivals to 3-of-14 shooting in the second and third quarters. Trinity scored 10 consecutive points to take a 39-18 lead with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter. 

Annie McKenna scored 14 points for Trinity and Kaitlin Aylward contributed 12.

"We definitely didn't want a repeat of last year," Prochaska said. "We don't take anyone lightly or for granted. We are taking it one game at a time."

St. Ignatius senior Gabby Diamond scored a team-high 10 points and her pair of 3-pointers were the Wolfpack's only baskets in the third quarter.

Trinity took a 21-11 lead at halftime with a defensive effort that held St. Ignatius to one basket for nearly 10 minutes in the first half.

Prochaska and Aylward combined 14 points in the first half to outscore St. Ignatius' entire team.

The Blazers will play third-seeded Kenwood, a 69-55 winner over Riverside-Brookfield, at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Hinsdale South Sectional semifinal

- See more at: http://www.highschoolcubenews.com/news_article/show/352187?referrer_id=608534#sthash.8SLUf5JX.dpuf

After seeing its streak of 10 consecutive regional titles come to an end last year, second-seeded Trinity showed no signs of letdown with a 49-33 victory over seventh-seeded St. Ignatius (17-12) Thursday night in the 4A Argo Regional final.

DePaul-bound guard Lauren Prochaska led Trinity (24-5) with 15 points, as the Blazers held their GCAC Red rivals to 3-of-14 shooting in the second and third quarters. Trinity scored 10 consecutive points to take a 39-18 lead with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter. 

Annie McKenna scored 14 points for Trinity and Kaitlin Aylward contributed 12.

"We definitely didn't want a repeat of last year," Prochaska said. "We don't take anyone lightly or for granted. We are taking it one game at a time."

St. Ignatius senior Gabby Diamond scored a team-high 10 points and her pair of 3-pointers were the Wolfpack's only baskets in the third quarter.

Trinity took a 21-11 lead at halftime with a defensive effort that held St. Ignatius to one basket for nearly 10 minutes in the first half.

Prochaska and Aylward combined 14 points in the first half to outscore St. Ignatius' entire team.

The Blazers will play third-seeded Kenwood, a 69-55 winner over Riverside-Brookfield, at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Hinsdale South Sectional semifinal

- See more at: http://www.highschoolcubenews.com/news_article/show/352187?referrer_id=608534#sthash.8S

While it's easy to peek ahead to a potential showdown on Feb. 27 between Whitney Young and Trinity, the No. 1 seed and No. 2 seed, respectively, in the Hinsdale South Sectional title game, the Blazers have been wisely taking it one postseason game at a time. So far, so good regarding Trinity's measured approach in the playoffs.

Trinity opened the Class 4A playoffs last week, by taking care of business at the Argo Regional. Senior guard Lauren Prochaska scored 15 points to lead Trinity past St. Ignatius 49-33 in the Argo Regional championship game on Feb. 20.

Trinity (24-5) led 21-11 at halftime and quickly extended its lead over 20 points early in the third quarter against the Wolfpack. The Blazers went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter to build a 39-18 advantage, essentially paving the way to a regional title.

"Our pressure defense was the key," Trinity coach Ed Stritzel said. "We forced many turnovers and had [Saint] Ignatius out of their offensive rhythm most of the night."

In support of Prochaska offensively, Annie McKenna contributed 14 points and Kaitlin Aylward had 12 points for the balanced Blazers.

Defensively, Trinity was even more effective as Aylward held St. Ignatius power forward Kate Gallagher to single-digit scoring. Junior Patricia Stritzel, who scored eight points, also played well on defense for the Blazers, limiting St Ignatius' top shooter Gabby Diamond to just 10 points.

"We've definitely been working on our defense a lot in practice," Prochaska said. "We've been working on boxing out and making sure we have proper positioning. Once we get the ball, we want to push the tempo. I thought we did a really good job of that against [Saint] Ignatius."

The Blazers opened the playoffs by crushing regional host Argo 71-28 as Stritzel scored 16 points and Prochaska netted 15 points. McKenna (11 points) and Aylward (10 points) also reached double figures.

Next up for the Blazers is Kenwood, which knocked off Riverside-Brookfield 69-55 to claim the RB Regional championship. Alanna Slaughter, Alyssa Moore and Sharese Scott lead the fast-paced Broncos (22-7), who claimed their first-ever regional title by beating RB.

Like Trinity, the Broncos like to apply pressure defense and get out in transition, which should make for an intriguing sectional semifinal matchup at Hinsdale South (Feb. 25/8 p.m.). Whitney Young and North Lawndale square off in the other sectional semifinal (Feb. 25/6 p.m.), just a few hours before the Blazers and Broncos battle.

 Whether it's their full court press or stifling man-to-man defense, Trinity has been diligently preparing to face the Broncos' relentless pressure.

"We've been working on breaking the press," Prochaska said. "When we played Neuqua Valley, we struggled with their press. So we've been focusing on different types of press breakers and handling pressure."

The semifinal winners will meet in Thursday's Hinsdale South Sectional title game at 7 p.m.

"Our team is focused on the job at hand and that is to take care of Kenwood," Stritzel said. "We're very focused and determined to make a long run in the state playoffs."

Last year, Trinity (a No. 2 sectional seed) made a surprisingly early exit in the playoffs via a shocking 71-64 loss to 15th-seeded Proviso East. This season, the Blazers aren't taking any team for granted.

"From past experience, we know we have to just take it game by game," Prochaska said. "Focusing on our game plan for Kenwood is definitely our top priority. We are mentally preparing because in any situation, you need to be ready for anything. We're definitely not taking anyone lightly."

Fenwick loses to North Lawndale in Reavis Regional final

The Friars had high hopes entering the Class 4A state playoffs. The Friars started off the postseason in fine fashion by posting wins over Curie (66-30) and Proviso East (79-69), and advancing to the Reavis Regional championship game on Thursday.

Unfortunately, North Lawndale closed out the Friars' season abruptly with a 48-42 victory to claim the Reavis Regional title. Senior guard Maya Garland's three-pointer and junior guard Jenny Mackowiak's basket triggered a 7-0 run to put Fenwick up 14-13 early in the second quarter. North Lawndale answered with a 7-0 spurt of its own, however, and never looked back en route to a hard-fought victory.

Garland and fellow senior guard, Jade Owens, paced the Friars with 10 points each. Mackowiak and freshman guard Giselle Diaz chipped in seven points apiece and junior center Kelly Canoy finished with five points.

"We never gave up," said Garland, who has signed with the University of Alabama-Birmingham. "It's been tough for us to run plays this year, and [tonight] we ran our plays better than we have all year."

Down 45-42 with just under a minute left in the fourth quarter, the Friars recovered a turnover from North Lawndale but then turned the ball over themselves, as North Lawndale capitalized on the play to increase its lead to five points. North Lawndale added a free throw to seal a 48-42 victory.

"We went down a tough path to get here," Fenwick coach Dave Power. "We had to beat a tough Proviso East team and [then] face this tough North Lawndale team. I think we were a little flat tonight and our execution wasn't where we wanted it to be, but I was so proud of our kids to fight all the way through it."

Despite losing key players to injury over the course of the season, the resilient Friars battled all season long.

"This Fenwick team has the most love ever," Garland said. "You walk in the locker room and everyone just wants to hug you. We had a lot of heart even though we had some down times with Jade and [sophomore guard] Deja [Cage] gone with injuries for a while. We kept it up and we never got down on ourselves and just kept going."

Power agreed.

"I love this team," said Power. "I'm proud of our accomplishments all season long, but we just came up a little short tonight."

Garland also believes that the Friars' youngerplayers will improve and ultimately continue the Friars' rich basketball tradition of success.

"I told them that nobody is promised tomorrow," Garland said. "I told them to work hard every day and don't worry about the little things because at the end of the day you just have to move on each and every day. I also told them that they're going to be great. We have a lot of really good players, so watch out."

Fenwick finished 13-18 this season.

 

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