The Lyons High School girls' basket ball team is having a great season. They upped their record to 11-1 on the season, are tied for first in their league, first in district, and currently ranked #1 among 2A schools in the most recent CHSSA RPI system! This will be important at the end of the season when the seeding takes place for regionals. However, Lyons will have to continue to play well for the rest of league play to have that play-off opportunity. The Lady Lions are just six games away from the district
play-offs, which are just a month away.
Last week, the Lions continued their quest when they beat the Highland Huskies 40 to 36. The Huskies were over-whelmed by the relentless Lyons press, which caused twenty-six turn overs. The Lions held the Huskies to just five points in the first quarter and a single bucket in the second quarter. With the score at 22 to 7 when the girls went into the locker room after the first half, Lyons, prematurely, thought they had the game won.
Woe to those who wear the mantle of overconfidence! In the second half, Lyons backed off their intensity and the Huskies became attack dogs. Fouls, turn-overs, and a lack of urgency on the boards by the Lions gave the Huskies an opportunity to get back into the game. The Huskies out-rebounded Lyons by a margin of two to one in the second half limiting the Lions shots, and turning their own misses into second chances. Lyons lost the momentum, but fortunately never the lost the lead as Madison Johnson and Liz Jonjak “woman-ed up” as each hit some important shots down the stretch to keep Lyons in that lead and ultimately notched the win for Lyons.
Coach Jason Maguire was thrilled with the team's eleventh win in row “We really executed well in the first half and we got up big, by more than fifteen points. In the second half we were a little complacent, not getting enough shots off and missing free throws we don’t normally miss. Highland is a good team and I knew they would get back in the game, but we hit some big shots at the end and got the win.”
Johnson was high-scorer with fourteen points, seven rebounds, and went four for four at the charity stripe. Jonjak pitched in with eleven points, four assists, and three steals. Adele Walker was a presence in the paint with four blocks and seven rebounds, while teammate Ixchel Leeuwenburgh had eight rebounds, four steals and five points. Hall had six points and four rebounds. Maddi Maguire four assists to go with her three steals. And Kylie Udovich scored two points and handed out two assists.
The victory against the Highland Huskies was especially sweet for the Lion’s seniors. Jonjak, Maguire, and Taylor Christiansen played the Highland Huskies seven previous times over their careers and had never come away with a victory. Being able to finally beat the Huskies on their home court Taylor Christiansen had this to say “It felt so good to finally beat them. They are our rivals and we have had so many close games.” Or to quote Paul Simon, “I'd rather be a hammer than a nail.” There is a very good chance that the Lyons seniors will see the Huskies again in districts.
Lyons's scoring (baskets, free-throws made-free-throws attempted, total): Johnson 5, 4-4, 14; Jonjak 4, 1-5, 11; Leeuwenburgh 2, 1-3, 5; Hall 3, 0-6, 6; Walker 1, 0-0, 2; Maguire 0, 0-0, 0; Udovich 1, 0-1, 2; Powell 0, 0-0, 0; Kincaid 0, 0-0, 0; Dillon 0, 0-0, 0; Heibert 0, 0-0, 0; Moe 0, 0-0, 0. Totals: 16, 6-14, 40. Three-pointers: Jonjak (2). Fouled out: Leeuwenburgh. Score by Quarters:
Lions 13 09 09 09 = 40
Huskies 05 02 11 14 = 36
Do yourself a favor and come out and support this exciting basketball team. The next home game is Tuesday, January 31, against Twin Peaks. The girls play at 5 p.m., and the boys play at 6:30 p.m.