Girls Basketball: Joliet Catholic pushes past Providence
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media January 4, 2014 7:40PM
Updated: February 6, 2014 6:40AM
Joliet Catholic coach Ed Schodrof preaches the same message game in and game out to his Angels.
“Push the ball if it’s there, and take it, and if it’s not, be intelligent enough to pull it back,” Schodrof said. “If you do push, don’t take a bad shot. That’s it in a nutshell.”
The push-sprint style was tested Saturday, host Providence doing its best to slow down the fast-paced Angels with a zone defense.
Joliet Catholic weathered the first-quarter storm, blowing open the game in the second period on the way to a 70-31 win in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.
Ty Battle (15 points), Nicole Ekhomu (14 points, 4 assists), Jasmine Lumpkin (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Christina Ekhomu (10 points, 3 steals) led JCA (12-0, 1-0).
“We’re a better team when we push the ball and sprint,” Christina Ekhomu said. “That’s what coach (Schodrof) wants. That’s why he’s always yelling. It makes us a better team.”
Out of the gate Saturday, Providence’s 2-3 zone defense slowed the Angels down, the Celtics trailing 11-6 after one quarter when Alyssa Jurges hit a runner at the buzzer.
In the second quarter, the brakes came off and Joliet Catholic picked up the pace. The Angels rattled off runs of 6-0, 12-1 and 13-2 to take a commanding 42-11 halftime lead.
Battle had three baskets as part of a quarter-closing 13-2 spurt, the freshman scoring two nice fast-break buckets off passes from Nicole Ekhomu.
“We struggle with the zone sometimes as it slows us down,” Battle said. “When they came out of zone (in the second), we pushed it a bit and scored a bunch.”
Joliet Catholic hit a sizzling 13-of-18 from the field in the second quarter. Kennedy Weigt, Nicole Ekhomu and Kaitlyn Williams all hit three-pointers.
“When they went man (defense), it was like a green light for us,” Christina Ekhomu said. “We pushed it as much as we could.”
Jurges finished with 13 points for Providence (12-7, 1-1).
“With the zone, we wanted to slow them down, slow Jasmine Lumpkin down,” Jurges said. “It was just a lack of communication in the second.”