Lyons Township High School senior girls basketball player Ella Ormsby only took two shots the entire first half Friday at York. When the Lions fell 1 point behind midway through the third quarter, Ormsby suddenly delivered back-to-back three-pointers.
“The first one, once I shot it, once I made it, I was like, ‘I’ve got to shoot the next chance I get because I’m really feeling it,’” Ormsby said. “And then I did.”
Those threes on consecutive possessions put the Lions ahead for good in their 49-39 victory in the early showdown between the West Suburban Conference Silver co-leaders.
LTHS (11-1, 5-0) won last year’s title with a perfect 12-0 record en route to reaching the Class 4A sectional final. York (9-2, 4-1) returns four starters from its third-place 8-4 WSC Silver team.
Ormsby, a returning starter, finished with a team-best 11 points all after halftime and five rebounds.
“York is a really great team and this is a really great win. We all feel really good about it,” Ormsby said. “[Conference is] very important. We won it last year and now we’re still undefeated, so we want to keep it going for the rest of the season.”
Besides a veteran like Ormsby, newcomers like freshman guard Avery Mezan also contributed clutch plays.
Mezan had two big fourth-quarter baskets after the Lions’ 37-30 lead entering the fourth quarter dwindled to 37-35 with 4:15 left.
“Avery hit some major shots for a freshman,” LTHS coach Meghan Hutchens said. “I thought her three-pointer was dynamite. That was just ice in her veins to take it in.”
Mezan, who missed her only shot in the first half, started with her 3-pointer from the right corner for a 40-35 LTHS lead. When the Dukes answered with a three, Mezan drove the lane for a scoop layup and 42-38 lead with 2:27 to go.
“Our coaches said not to shoot many threes, but I shot it anyway. I was pretty nervous I was going to miss it. It felt good [to score],” Mezan said.
Junior Elin O’Brien had nine points on three first-half threes. Seven points apiece came from senior Ally Cesarini (4 steals), junior Kennedy Wanless (8 rebounds, 4 assists) and sophomore Nora Ezike (5 rebounds, 3 blocks). Sophomore Emma O’Brien also had five rebounds.
“I’m so proud of the how the younger kids have come in and step up, in big games especially,” Ormsby said. “Avery had a bunch of nice attacks and Emma and Nora, they played great. It was an awesome effort from everyone.”
Cesarini scored on a layup off a Wanless pass for a 44-38 lead with 1:25 left. Ormsby was 4 for 4 from the free throw line in the final 13.3 seconds.
“That credit [for poise] goes to Ally and Ella, our two seniors, being able to play the entire game, being able to take care of the basketball and relying on each other to always come back and help one another,” Hutchens said. “At the times we needed it, we had the poise where we worked it around to get the perfect shot. Late in the game, we passed it and got layups.”
LTHS next plays at the 16-team Montini Tournament, opening with Niles North at 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 27.