Girls Basketball: Unbeaten Oak Lawn earns tourney title
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org December 21, 2013 9:08PM
Updated: December 28, 2013 12:21AM
Rich East used a box-and-1 on defense against Oak Lawn at the outset of Saturday’s championship game in the Oak Lawn Varsity Girls Holiday Tournament.
The goal was to slow down speedy, explosive Spartans shooting guard LaTondra Brooks.
To a degree, it worked. But it didn’t slow down Brooke Annerino.
The 5-foot-6 point guard slipped into shooting mode very nicely and scored early and often in a big first half as the Spartans seized control early and captured the tourney title with a 66-36 victory.
Annerino finished with 13 points and six assists, Brooks 16 points, Brianna Markusic eight points, Duneya Shatat seven points and Jannah Mahmoud six points and seven rebounds as Oak Lawn extended its school record-setting start to 13-0.
Ashley Dennis led the way for Rich East (6-5) with 20 points and 17 rebounds.
Annerino scored 11 of her 13 points during a first half in which the Spartans ran off to a 16-2 lead and went into the locker room with a 30-14 advantage. The four-year varsity player drove for one bank-in, popped in another shot from close range, nailed a three-pointer and went to the foul line twice, going 4-for-4.
“I don’t know ... it just kind of happened,” Annerino said. “We’ve been working our butts off all week for the championship game. The points just came.
“It feels awesome. Winning two tournaments and then being undefeated is awesome. It’s never happened at Oak Lawn.”
Brooks, who was held to six points in the opening 16 minutes, shook loose in the third quarter, going 5-for-5 on drives to the basket.
“I’ve never been on a team that has been 13-0 and won two tournaments in the same year,” Brooks said. “I just hope we can keep going.”
Rich East claimed the second-place trophy by going 3-1, upsetting Lincoln-Way North in the first round 43-39, beating Richards 60-40 and outlasting Riverside-Brookfield 62-55.
Dennis, who came into the tournament averaging 26 points per game, was double-teamed by Oak Lawn for much of Saturday’s game. She had just two points after one quarter, but worked under the basket diligently and eventually got to the foul line nine times.
“It was a good tournament,” Rich East coach Jonnie Bass said. “I’m still proud of my kids. They worked hard, they showed up. But we’re really young. We’ve just got to learn how to be in a position like this. It was great being here.”
Lincoln-Way North 43, Sandburg 28: Kayla Kieklak scored 12 points and Sam Pietruszynski 10 as Lincoln-Way North (8-3) won the third-place game. Sandburg (8-4) was led by Julia Ruzevich (8 points).
Richards 44, Romeovville 30: Sydni Tears (17 points) paced Richards (5-7) in the seventh-place contest. Alexis Marin tallied 13 points for Romeoville (4-7).