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Girls Basketball: LW-East Holds Central to Single Digits, Stays Undefeated

Lincoln-Way East defeated Lincoln-Way Central 45-9 in a cross-district battle Tuesday night. Taylor Johnson and Caitlin McMahon led the way for the Griffins' outstanding defense.

At one point during 's girls basketball rout of , senior Taylor Johnson nailed a 3-pointer from about 4 feet behind the arc. The next possession, the Knights’ Kayla Pope had a wide open 3 that fell halfway down the basket before bouncing out. It was that kind of night for Central, which lost 45-9 to the undefeated Griffins.

The Griffin defense was outstanding, keyed by Johnson's pressure on the perimeter and 6-foot senior Caitlin McMahon's presence inside. The Knights' defense did well in the second half, holding East to only 11 points in that span, but it wasn't enough. East coach Jim Martin said his team needs to avoid late-game droughts come playoff time.

"When you get into the state tournament time you can’t afford to have those lulls," he said.

Patch’s MVP: Johnson found her rhythm early and led all scorers with 14 points, going 3-for-6 on 3-pointers. She harassed opposing point guards with her pressure defense, getting four steals and forcing a number of turnovers.

Key Stats: Central had about 20 rebounds on the night. East had 19 in the first half alone and 42 total. East shot 56 percent in the first half but only 14 percent in the second half. That was still better than Central, which was 4-for-37 (11 percent) from the field and 0-for-9 on free throws.

LW-East Leaders: Caitlin McMahon was outstanding, with 13 points, 12 rebounds and two steals. Junior Marissa DeGroot contributed nine rebounds, and senior Amy Jacobsen had eight points, two steals and two rebounds. 

LW-Central Leaders: Veronica Baldermann had four rebounds and two assists to help the Knights get on the board. Brittany Spindler led Central with three points, hitting a 3-pointer on her only shot of the night.

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total East 19 15 3 8 45 Central 0 2 2 5 9

Quotable I: "Taylor Johnson, I think, is the best defender in the Southland. A point guard can’t pass and do everything when she’s on them." — East coach Jim Martin

Quotable II:  "We gave a good effort in the second half, but in the first half we took a few punches and it was too much to come back from." — Central coach Chris Fetherling

Quotable III:  "Coach has been emphasizing that we need more confidence in the game, and I started to feel my shot." — Griffins star Taylor Johnson

Team Records: East remains undefeated at 13-0 and 5-0 in the Southwest Suburban Blue Conference. Central drops to 10-6 overall and 2-3 in the same conference.

What’s Next: Central will face Homewood-Flossmoor at 6 p.m. Thursday in New Lenox. East plays at Lockport at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

john bruno January 11, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Shame on the Coach and shame on the team for the score. Did you ever hear of "sportsmanship". Wait 'til you play Bolingbrook....you'll get a rude awakening for sure...or Marian Catholic....another good team. East will be all bad teams and lose to the good one. Going nowhere. Shame on the team and shame on the coach for beating Central so badly.
john bruno January 11, 2012 at 04:34 AM
East will BEAT.....above.
Kirk Stevens January 11, 2012 at 01:17 PM
You don't let up on a team in the first half, you never know how things can turn around. You can see the second half they did let off.
john bruno January 11, 2012 at 01:57 PM
East led 19-0 in the first quarter and 34-2 at the half. If you are a coach and you believe that they can come back on you in girls basketball, you are in the wrong business. Shame on Coach Martin. Shame on the Griffins.
Michael Sewall (Editor) January 11, 2012 at 02:01 PM
In the view from the stands it sure didn't seem like the score was being run up on Central. East's defense was great in the first half and forced a lot of transition points, plus Johnson scored 11. But in the second half there was more bench play and things moved at a much slower pace.
Ron Kremer (Editor) January 11, 2012 at 03:07 PM
My feeling is there is a depth of field issue in girls basketball/girls sports, in part caused by specialization. Girls are forced to specialize at young ages, picking one sport to play year-round. Volleyball is in vogue right now. So, many girls go that route. And girls basketball teams are not as well stocked with good athletes/top players. Do you favor a running clock when the score gets out of hand in girls/boys basketball like is used in football?
Metro January 11, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I honestly don't think East ran up the score by scoring 45 points. They just played solid defense. East has a D1 point guard and that makes all of the difference in the world. It might not be fair that Central doesn't have as experienced of a team as East. But is it fair that East also has to face a conference team every year that's stacked with an entire roster of D1 recruits, a majority of which transferred into the district. It doesn't seem like LW coaches like to run it up on other LW schools. It's a learning experience for the Central players that probably don't specialize in basketball year round.
Metro January 11, 2012 at 04:58 PM
East beat Marian first game this season. East is a good team and so is North. Nothing should be taken away from the fact that these LW coaches win with the neighborhood talent that walks in the door.
Donny January 11, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Hey what do you know, John Bruno talking some smack about East. Why do you feel the need to criticize a team of girls that likes to play hard and clearly is talented? Of course they will most likely lose to Bolingbrook, everyone will. Bolingbrook is stacked and continually dominates girls basketball in the state. So what if East loses to them? Are they making statements saying they are the best in the state? No..they are just playing the teams that are on their schedule, and the girls are playing their hardest-exactly what they should be doing. If you want to gripe about who East should be playing, take it up with the AD.
john bruno January 11, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Donny.....You missed my entire point...which was poor sportsmanship by burying a team as they did. Had nothing to do with the schedule or the AD. But if I was the AD and a coach did that to another team, I would fire the coach. Had to do with a coach and kids who buried someone in a meaningless game.
tebow January 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM
John east played their bench in the first qtr and through the whole game. This team is full of kids that want playing time and playing time is earned. Maybe shame on LW Central for not having his team ready to play. And by the way they BEAT Marian in the first game of the season. East is ranked at number 6 in the state right now, give these kids some credit. And yes they have not played the University of Bolingbrook yet but I am not aware of to many teams that will beat a NATIONAL ranked team that is ranked in the top 10 in the USA!!!! LW East is undefeated at 13-0 for the first time in school history let them enjoy the moment and stop raining on their parade!!!!
Anonymous January 12, 2012 at 01:37 AM
One: By saying its ok for Bolingbrook & Marian (which East already beat btw. You problably should've checked out the stats from that game first before posting your comment) to blow East out, you're a hypocrite. Why would you think it would be okay for them to blow East out, but East can't blow out Central?? Two: By saying East should be ashamed because they blew them out is pretty much saying that athletes shouldn't play their heart out in a game or do their best. East isn't a team that is going to play half assed just because they feel sorry for their opponent. That doesn't make either team better. Maybe that's just the philosophy Central has, but good teams such as Bolingbrook & in this situation, East simply just want to do their BEST. It just happens to be that they blow teams out becuase they push themselves. True athletes don't worry about how bad they're beating a team. All they want to do is make sure they become better each game.
tebow January 12, 2012 at 01:38 AM
John you just proved how much you DON'T know there is no such thing as a meaningless conferece game against a cross town rival. Instead of complaining about East I would encourge you to ask all the girls on the team how much hard work and sweat they have put into getting to this point. Every single girl on that team works hard during thr summer in their summer league, along with playing year round with their AAU travel teams. Go ask the girls at LWC if they play AAU ball, and the answer would be no. East is a team built of girls within the school district and all are athletes. Unlike Bolingbrook who has girls all of a sudden move in district when they are going to high school can you say recruit.!!
Metro January 12, 2012 at 03:47 AM
John Bruno, Are you for real? Now we're going to fire a coach because the other team felt bad. Seriously, I would be more worried about Central only scoring 9 points. If East wanted to run up the score they would have put alot more than 45 points on the board.
Metro January 12, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Tebow, You hit the nail on the head. Girls teams have to have AAU players on the roster to be competitive. I'd take a freshman with a couple of years of AAU experience over a senior with none.

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