Local roundup: Lauren Hunter, Lincoln-Way East roll past Andrew – Chicago Tribune
It doesn’t take a green light to get Lincoln-Way East junior Lauren Hunter going on the basketball court.
However, a pep talk from Griffins coach Jim Martin before the Lincoln-Way East Medieval Classic did provide some welcome inspiration.
Hunter responded with two of her best back-to-back efforts of the season.
East, meanwhile, is unbeaten in the tournament, including Tuesday’s 61-38 victory over Andrew.
Hunter led the Griffins (6-6) with 14 points and six rebounds. Carolyn Waleski contributed 11 points and five rebounds, while Lily Hicks and Riley Gaynor had eight points each.
Hunter, a 5-foot-9 forward, was a dominant force during a first half when the Griffins essentially ran away.
She worked the basket relentlessly for layups and rebounds. In the second quarter she converted two 3-point plays and would have had a third had not a quick whistle resulted in a tie-up.
Hunter just didn’t stop. It has more or less been her style all season.
“She’s been really our only scorer who has been scoring,” Martin said. “Lauren has been pretty consistent for us (13.5-point average). She’s strong inside powering it up. We just have to work on some moves instead of just a drop step.”
Hunter wasn’t the only one who stepped up against Andrew. Gaynor fired at will and nailed a pair of threes, while Bailey Kramer added another. Hicks helped out Hunter around the rim and Waleski had some defense-shredding drives to the basket.
There was no stop in any of the Griffins, really.
“I feel like my whole team plays that way, honestly,” Hunter said. “Especially these past two games I feel like everyone has been going with the green light. Hopefully we don’t stop.”
Hunter had 22 points and Waleski 20 in Monday’s 69-39 win over Providence. The back-to-back dominant efforts were more in line with East tradition.
“After our little downfall we had the past few games, we needed to have a turnaround,” Waleski said. “We need to turn it on from here on out. We need to be more tough and playing like ourselves.
“Coach told us we had the green light to push, push, push. It was kind of a wakeup call for us, helped us a lot.”
Andrew (6-8) didn’t have much luck in chasing the Griffins, but Thunderbolts freshman Mia Signore provided a nice spark with 14 points. The 5-4 guard drove the lane fearlessly, and also showed some range with a 3-pointer.
“I just like to run with the ball and see if I can get anything,” Signore said. “It just seems like I get things going for us when I run. We’ve all grown a lot the last few weeks.”
Lincoln-Way Central 59, Reavis 40: Colleen Barrett scored 17 points and Hayley Papoccia added 11 points as Lincoln-Way Central (8-5) won for the second straight day.
Providence 61, Oak Forest 51: Ryann Ogarek scored 31 points for Providence (9-5). Kelsey Kolecki led Oak Forest (5-9) with 17 points.
Argo 81, Beecher 43: Chatori Tyler totaled 33 point and 11 rebounds to lead Argo (9-4) at Riverside-Brookfield.
Brooks 69, Bloom 65 (OT): Tanea White put in 20 points for Bloom (9-7) in the Hillcrest Holiday Classic.
Hillcrest 50, Joliet Catholic 26: Dani Wright had 17 points to pace Hillcrest (9-5)
Lemont 50, West Chicago 33: Sarah Knoepfle and Mairead Ruane scored 12 points each for Lemont (6-4) at Oswego East.
Lincoln-Way West 78, Indianapolis (Ind.) Home School 45: Tara Hastings poured in 21 points for West (14-2) at Nazareth.
Lockport 54, Thornton 41: Treasure Thompson’s 13 points led Lockport (11-5) to a berth in the fifth-place game at Hillcrest.
Queen of Peace 43, Plainfield Central 20: Kara Shimko provided 13 points and five rebounds for Peace (14-0) at Oswego East.
Rich South 38, Rich East 30: Nade’ge Jean scored 13 points for Rich South (8-6) at Hillcrest.
Sandburg 44, Crete-Monee 39: Morgan McAuliffe had 14 points as Sandburg (7-10) advanced to the fifth-place game at Hillcrest.
Stagg 54, Rich Central 51: Sydney Downs put in 13 points for Stagg (7-7) at Hillcrest.
Andrew 64, Thornridge 36: Evan Yerkes had 20 points for Andrew (7-4) at Kankakee.
Butler 65, Rich South 49: Dejuan McClendon’s 12 points led host Rich South (6-3) in the Big Dipper quarterfinals.
Evergreen Park 63, Christ the King 55: Christian Cotten scored 17 points for Evergreen (8-4) at IC Catholic.
Highland Park 66, De La Salle 59: Aeris Jackson had 14 points for De La Salle (8-2) at York.
Hillcrest 74, Proviso East 57: Marcus Garrett scored 33 points for Hillcrest (8-3) at Proviso West.
Homewood-Flossmoor 55, St. Viator 38: Cortez King-Parks had 11 points and 10 rebounds for H-F (8-1) at Hinsdale Central.
Joliet Catholic 48, Oswego East 44: Peter Ragen had 22 points for JCA (5-6) at East Aurora.
Leo 75, Johnson 39: Jadon Williams contributed 17 points and nine rebounds for Leo (8-2) at Rich South.
Lincoln-Way Central 64, Rich Central 59: Luke Handley scored 17 points for Lincoln-Way Central (3-9) at Rich South.
Lincoln-Way East 76, Oak Lawn 46: Sam Schafer totaled 26 points for East (9-2) at Effingham.
Marian Catholic 65, Urban Prep-Englewood 64: Chase Adams (23 points) scored with 23 seconds remaining to lift Marian (7-4) at Hinsdale Central.
Rich East 74, Ag. Science 48: Clifton Jimerson had 13 points for Rich East (3-6) at Rich South.
Rockford Auburn 84, Richards 63: Jaylan Catledge contributed 18 points for Richards (5-4) at Hinsdale Central.
St. Laurence 53, Stagg 49 (OT): Justin Wierzgac scored 25 points for St. Laurence (3-9) at York.
Shepard 57, Bradley-Bourbonnais 47: Jack Cody and Chris Harrison recorded 16 points each for Shepard (4-5) at Kankakee.
Freelance writer Josh Krockey contributed.