The trio of Kayla Morrissey, Ashanti Davis and Victoria Swift provided most of the damage offensively in Lyons Township’s 64-45 nonconference win over host Riverside-Brookfield on Friday.
After the Bulldogs’ Hannah Claywell opened the scoring on a runner in the lane, the Lions responded with a 19-3 run to take a 19-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. Davis scored eight points and Morrissey had seven points during the monster spurt, which was also fueled by the Lions’ effective full-court defensive pressure.
“We put our press and also press-breaker on pretty early in the game,” Morrissey said. “We pushed the ball well and scored some easy baskets. Ashanti can play all five positions, I can play 2 through 4, and Vicki can play both guard spots. Our team has a lot of variety.”
Trailing 34-17 at halftime, RB made a couple of runs to move within relative striking distance of the Lions. The Bulldogs’ first mini-rally occurred with an 8-2 run to open the second half reducing their deficit to 36-25. Claywell netted five points during the flurry on a layup, jump shot and free throw. However, LT (12-7) answered by scoring the next seven points to stretch the lead out to 43-25.
RB (16-3) offered one final push, scoring the first six points of the fourth quarter to set the scoreboard at 45-33 in LT’s favor. The Lions rolled the rest of the way, outscoring RB 19-14 en route to victory. Swift starred in the second half by putting up 13 of her 19 points. She shared game-high scoring honors with Morrissey, who also finished with 19 points. Swift canned a three-point dagger midway through the fourth quarter that essentially squashed the Bulldogs’ comeback bid.
“When [RB] got within 12, I was looking to score,” Swift said. “When I’m confident with my shot, it usually goes in — it’s as simple as that.”
Davis, who sprained her ankle during the game, also reached double figures with 10 points.
“Ashanti will be fine and should be good to go for next week,” LT coach Katie Meyers said. “We attacked the hoop well [tonight] and had a good shooting percentage. I don’t like it when teams score 40 points on us and RB had 45 so we need to be a little more disciplined on defense.”
Brittney JnoBaptiste paced the Bulldogs with 16 points while Claywell and Janae Dabney added 13 points apiece. While Claywell and JnoBaptiste are typically the Bulldogs’ top two scorers, Dabney continues to impress as a sophomore.
“It’s a great opportunity for me playing on varsity,” the soft-spoken Dabney said. “I just to have keep working hard to become the best player I can be.
“Turnovers hurt us [against LT] and some shots didn’t fall for us. It’s a tough loss, but we have to concentrate on the bigger picture, which is winning our conference and just playing good basketball.”