WOODSTOCK – Woodstock North girls basketball coach Mike Lewis thought he had all of his rotations figured out.
However, injuries and good, tough practices have put his Thunder team in a different light.
Eleven Thunder players got into the action in the first quarter Monday, and all 15 saw playing time to help Woodstock North take down Harvard, 43-24.
“They’ve been playing really hard at practice,” Lewis said. “I’ve challenged them a little bit and they’ve earned their playing time.”
Senior Samantha Ahr rolled an ankle early in the week and played sparingly, and junior Sam Abbate was battling an illness and played only a few minutes in the fourth quarter. It did not matter because the Thunder got contributions up and down the roster.
Senior guard Kaitlin Chamberlain came out aggressive in the first half, starting the Thunder night with a 3-pointer. She scored on three straight Thunder possessions to start the second quarter and finished with a game-high 11 points.
“Today was a good chance to get everyone in and see how they do,” Chamberlain said. “Every game things are coming a little better. Offensively I think we’re starting to see more.”
The Thunder (4-4) had the inside game working early, as well. Kailey Parlogean saw plenty of lobs against the shorter Harvard defense, tallying six first-quarter points and finishing with 10 for the game.
“We’re working really hard and are trying to prove to people we’ve got what it takes,” Parlogean said. “We had to mix and match things tonight.”
Kristy Darling came off the bench to put up seven points and Sara Crain added four.
The Thunder’s trapping defense caused havoc for the Hornets, who were virtually shut down all night. Harvard (2-5) did most of its scoring at the line, going 9 of 17.
However, Harvard managed only seven field goals, something that has plagued the Hornets at times this season.
“Our defense has been solid this year and it hasn’t really been a problem,” head coach John Lally said. “We’re just struggling on the offensive end right now. Our guard play has to improve and we missed enough close one’s tonight that would have made it a little closer.”
That defense held Woodstock North to fewer and fewer points each quarter but the offense could not keep up. The Hornets were led by Sam McCloud and Abby Linhart who each tallied eight points.
Woodstock North kept stretching the lead and held a 20 point margin several times Monday night, their biggest lead coming at 36-14 to end the third quarter. The Thunder will have the opportunity to build a win streak as they travel to Grayslake North, tonight.
“I think we’re all a little disappointed in our record,” Lewis said. “But I think we’re happy with the way that we played today. We’re going to try to forget about the past and move forward.”