ELMHURST – The IC Catholic Prep and Timothy Christian girls basketball teams each have encountered some growing pains this winter.
But both the Lady Knights and Trojans, who met on the court Jan. 15 in a Metro Suburban Conference crossover, have seen signs of improvement as the Class 2A playoffs inch closer.
IC Catholic, which has advanced to state in each of the past two years, started four sophomores and one freshman in its 48-33 win against Timothy Christian, though senior Anjella Farmer came off the bench to score a game-high 21 points. The Lady Knights have won five of their past seven games to close in on the .500 mark.
“We’ve made so much progress,” Farmer said. “Obviously we are very young. But the young players want to learn so much. It’s getting to be crunch time and we’ve been working really hard. We’ve just got to keep working on the little things.”
Against the Trojans, the entire roster, which features only three seniors and two juniors, contributed. Claire Gibler had nine points, nine rebounds and two steals while Leslie Montoya added eight points.
“That is what we’ve been stressing. In order to be successful, we have to play 11 girls and have 11 girls contribute,” IC coach Kelsey James said. “And they are starting to see that’s important. I’m thrilled with what they’ve done so far and I’m excited to see what they are going to do the next few weeks.
“It’s fun. This is a group of girls that is so willing to learn and get better and they feed off each other.”
As for Timothy Christian, the Trojans lost a large chunk of their starting lineup from a year ago to graduation. The biggest deterrent thus far has been on the offensive end. Against IC, Olivia Hoekstra had seven points and Grace Miller and Dani Van Laten totaled six points apiece.
“We don’t have that superstar. We don’t have that one big scorer,” Timothy Christian coach Michele Strube said. “So we have to work together as a team and have everyone score. We knew we would be aggressive this season and we knew we would be quick. We just were hoping we wouldn’t struggle as much with scoring.”