Girls basketball feeds off strong start

Girls basketball feeds off strong start

SHOOTIN’ SARAH: Junior guard Sarah McDonagh shoots over a defender during a home game against Niles West on Jan. 23. The Titans defeated the Wolves 52-33.

Breck Murphy, co-sports editor

After winning 15 games in a row at the beginning of their season, the Titans fell to Hinsdale Central in their winter tournament over the week of Dec. 21. With a score of 77-70 in their loss, senior captain Ashley Oldshue said it is one of their highest-scoring games yet.

“We put up a lot of points on the offensive end, but we were just sort of slow on defense,” Oldshue said. “[Defense is] something we’ve worked on a lot [since then].”

Kane believes another reason behind the loss was that they weren’t playing their typical game, in which they control the plays and points.

“A lot of the time, our coach focuses on playing Titan basketball vs. playing to the opponent,” Kane said. “[Not playing our style] got in the way of us doing what we do best and prevented us from the victory.”

Since then, the team’s more recent losses came from Hersey and New Trier. With their Hersey game, Oldshue believes that they were off to a good start, but lost it as the other team gained the momentum and the Titans failed to keep up.

“It was 7-0 and then [Hersey] started to have a good run,” Oldshue said. “They eventually got a 17-point lead, which was just too hard to come back from. We ended the game within 10 points […], but we just let it get too out of reach.”

Their third and final loss was to New Trier. According to Oldshue, the team had a great defensive game against the Trevians but they had a hard time hitting shots on offense. However, the Titans will face them again on Feb. 13.

“We are hoping we can learn from what we did wrong in that game and try to do a better job next time,” head coach Steven Weissenstien said.

According to Weissenstien, the team will do this by attempting to attack New Trier’s zone defense differently and keeping the same intense Titan defense as in the previous game.

While the team uses these games as ways to improve in the future, they have also had many influential wins that have really served as a turning point in the season, such as a win against St.Charles East, according to junior Sarah McDonagh.

“The [St. Charles East game] was really intense because we were behind by a lot and we came back,” McDonagh said. “It really boosted our confidence.”

Along with this victory, McDonagh believes that their win against Niles West showed them the positive effect that teamwork can have.

“We moved the ball really well that night,” McDonagh said. “When we are unselfish, we score more.”

Two games that showed the team’s mental toughness were their  wins against Maine South with scores of 48-38 and 38-25, according to Kane.

“Going into halftime [of the second Maine South game], we were losing,” Kane said. “But, we came back and played amazing defense. Even though we didn’t have the best offense, we still came out with a good victory.”

According to Weissenstien, the reason that the team is able to be this successful so often is because of the depth and capability of every player on the team.

“[The team dynamic] is unbelievable,” Weissenstein said. “They’re great kids, they get along well with each other and you can tell they’re just having a great time.’’

As the team moves further towards the playoffs, they have their eyes set on advancing further into sectionals than in years past. According to Oldshue, the team fell to Loyola in regionals last year, so they are hoping to surpass that.

The team has a game against Waukegan on Feb. 7 and another against New Trier on Feb. 13 before they enter the playoff tournament.