Tip-off: Trinity's Megan Podkowa (No. 13) goes up for a jump-ball during a game against Stevenson last week in River Forest. The 6-foot-1 junior finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.Photos by J. GEIL/Staff Photographer

Megan Podkowa led the Trinity basketball team to a 45-41 win over Stevenson last week in the Suburban Holiday Showcase Tournament by scoring 10 of her game-high 15 points in the second half.

The junior also finished with nine rebounds and three blocks to help the Blazers (14-3) secure the tournament title. Proviso East’s victory over Loyola in a later game helped Trinity’s cause.

The Blazers followed an earlier loss to Loyola by taking out 10th-ranked Proviso East 64-60. Podkowa scored 23 points and had seven rebounds in that win.

Before the final round, Trinity went 2-1 in pool play, falling only to the Ramblers 49-43. Podkowa finished with a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds in the game, but the Blazers couldn’t hold off Loyola’s Katie Faught, who scored 19 points.

Trinity held Lake Zurich to just 26 points in a 51-26 victory to open the tournament. Podkowa had 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals in the win.

The Blazers were without starter Gracie Sanchez for the entire tournament. The 5-foot-10 junior, who played on varsity last season, left the school Dec. 17 to likely enroll at Glenbrook North, according to Trinity head coach Ed Stritzel, who wouldn’t elaborate on any specific reason for Sanchez’s departure.

“It will take some time for the team to adjust to not only the Sanchez transfer, but two other starters out with injuries,” he said.

Trinity lost Mikayla Leyden to a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 26. Divinity Brown, a projected four-year starter, is expected to return from her knee injury in mid-January.

“We believe there are not too many teams in Illinois performing as well as we are with the loss of three starters,” added Stritzel. “That bodes well for the end of the season.”

Trinity hosts St. Ignatius tonight (Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m.) and welcomes Hillcrest on Saturday (1:30 p.m.).

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Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...