Megan Podkowa, Taylor Nazon and Taricka Linzy combined to score 53 points in Trinity’s 58-51 victory over Lincoln-Way East at the 27th annual McDonald’s Shootout held at Willowbrook in Villa Park on Saturday.
Podkowa led the Blazers (18-3) with 23 points, while Nazon added 20 points and Linzy 10.
Trinity’s defense didn’t clamp down until late in the third, after the Griffins had taken a 26-25 lead at halftime. Podkowa powered a 10-0 run with eight points to give her team a 46-36 lead. But the Griffins (14-4) closed the gap to four in the final period.
With 42 seconds on the clock, Podkowa sealed the win with a rebound and put-back on a missed free throw.
“Lincoln-Way East is an elite program and to defeat them two years in a row at the McDonald’s Shootout is very rewarding,” said Trinity coach Ed Stritzel. “Coach Martin is a class guy and a great coach. I have the utmost respect for him.”
Lincoln-Way East also had three players score in double digits. Caitlin McMahon led the Griffins with 15 points to go along with her 13 rebounds. Kelly McGovern and Taylor Johnson both finished with 13 apiece.
At home in River Forest on Thursday in Girls Catholic Athletic Conference action against Mother McAuley, the Blazers handed the Mighty Macs a 47-35 loss. Trinity, now 5-1 in the conference, went up 9-4 in the first quarter and had a 19-11 advantage by the break. But the team cruised in the third to the tune of a 13-point lead by the end of the third frame.
Podkowa led the way with 20 points, eight of which came in the third period. The junior also finished with 15 rebounds and seven blocks.
“Megan is a special player and she seems to handle all situations thrown at her,” said Stritzel of his star junior. “We have the supporting cast to support her and I think that’s why Trinity is where we’re at right now.”
The Blazers, who have been bumped up to Class 4A this season and will be in the Elmhurst Sectional along with area rivals Fenwick and OPRF when playoffs begin in a few weeks, host St. Joseph on Thursday (7:30 p.m.) and Jacobs on Saturday (7 p.m.). The team begins the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference Tournament the week of Jan. 31.
“These battles, we hope, are preparing us for what lies ahead in the GCAC tourney and the state playoffs,” added Stritzel.