The Lyons High School girls’ varsity basketball team won their last two games, and now post an impressive record for the season of fourteen wins against only two loses. They are currently second in their league, first in district and have moved up to sixth in the state RPI rankings.
The resourceful Lions have had to overcome the loss, due to injury, of leading scorer Taylor Christiansen. The team has also endured the absence
of several other key players with injuries and sickness. Through it all Coach Maguire and the girls have found a way to win.
In the first game last week, Lyons played Twin Peaks at home. Lyons took the lead early as Madison Johnson lit it up, going to the free-throw line five times in the first quarter. Guard Liz Jonjak hit a trey from downtown, while Ixchel Leeuwenburgh and Maddi Maguire each got a bucket in the paint. Maguire voiced the sentiments of this gritty group, “We are playing well and we want to win. We are going to bring intensity to every game we play.”
The Timberwolves just didn’t have an answer to Lions three-prong offensive attack, and struggled against the tenacious press. The Lyons “big three” led the way; Jonjak had eleven points, Leeuwenburgh dropped in a dozen, and Johnson led the team with fourteen. Johnson and Leeuwenburgh racked up double/doubles with ten rebounds for Johnson and fourteen rebounds for Leeuwenburgh.
Lyons scoring: Johnson 4, 6-10, 14; Leeuwenburgh 6, 0-3, 12; Jonjak 4, 0-0, 11; Dillon 0, 0-1, 0; Maguire 2, 1-2, 6; Hall 2, 0-0 4; Powell 0, 0-0, 0; Kincaid 0, 0-0, 0; Walker 0, 0-0, 0; Heibert 0, 0-0, 0; Moe 0, 0-0, 0; Udovich 0, 0-0, 0; Frohling 0, 0-0, 0. Totals: 18, 7-16, 47. Three- pointers: Jonjak (3), Maguire (1). Fouled out: none. Score by Quarters:
Lions 14 10 16 07 = 47
08 02 04 07 = 21
In the second match-up of the week, the girls headed to Greeley to take on Dayspring Christian. DC was seven and six on the season and the team revolves around Megan Roberts, the third highest scorer in the entire state. At five feet eleven inches, she plays the forward position, and averages 22.5 points per game. Normally, the job of defending the other team’s “big” falls on the Lions’ “big” Leeuwenburgh (their leading scorer and rebounder), but she was not available on this night.
The Lions had to rely on a full court press, and did a great job at putting pressure on DC who struggled to get the ball up the court. Most of DC’s offense consisted of lobbing the ball to Roberts in the paint or finding her behind the arc. Lyons pressure defense got them an early lead, and they kept it throughout most of the game. In the third quarter they stretched the lead to ten points.
But Roberts was not to be denied. She hit a series of three point buckets to narrow the lead to a single point as the clock wound down at the end of the fourth quarter. Basically it came down to the Lyons team defense, against Roberts’ offense. Lyons twice lost control of the ball and DC had two opportunities to score on in-bound plays from under their own basket. Lyons dialed up the intensity defensively, made the stops, and walked out of the gym with 41 to 40 victory! Coach Jason Maguire on the impressive win said, “I know the girls were thinking about Ixchel and she will be back. The team is coming out of a slump and we are getting better each and every game. We are building for districts, and are going to be ready to play.”
Liz Jonjak had a good all-around game. She led the team with eleven points, six assists, and three steals. Taking up the slack for Leeuwenburgh, Johnson got notched a double/double with ten points and fourteen rebounds, while Sarah Hall stepped up with thirteen rebounds and four points. Maguire dished out seven dimes, Kylee Udovich dropped in five points, Jackie Heibert had three points to go with her three rebounds, and Adele Walker had four points and four rebounds.
The win brought the Lions’ season record to fourteen wins and two loses. Now it’s back to the confines of their home gym for “Senior Night” on Tuesday, February 14, against Heritage Christian with the league title on the line. Come on down to the gym and make some noise!
Lyons scoring: Jonjak 5, 0-0, 11; Johnson 5, 0-2 10; Udovich 2, 0-0, 5; Maguire 1, 2-4, 4; Hall 2, 0-0, 4; Walker 2, 0-2, 4; Powell 0, 0-0, 0; Kincaid 0, 0-0, 0; Heibert 1, 1-1, 3; Moe 0, 0-0, 0; Frohling 0, 0-0, 0. Totals: 18, 3-11, 41. Three-pointers: Jonjak, Udovich. Fouled out: none. Score by Quarters:
Lions 07 13 11 10 = 41
DC 13 06 04 16 = 40