An early roadblock did not detour St. Viator from its path to success Saturday night in the Dundee-Crown Girls Basketball Thanksgiving Tournament in Carpentersville.
The Lions turned extra opportunities off rebounds and turnovers into 75 percent of their points to give first-year coach Christina Jost her first victory at the school 48-28 over the host Chargers.
It feels really good because weve improved after every game so far, said Viator senior Michelle Presslak after she had 12 points and 8 rebounds.
I thought we played well as a team, Jost said after her team scored 26 points off 27 D-C turnovers. Its finally starting to come together a little bit for us after two tough losses.
Viator (1-2) had a tough start as 3 of its shots were blocked by 5-foot-11 junior Emily Michalski and D-C (0-3) led 6-4 after a quarter on Lauren Lococos baseline drive.
But 10 second-quarter turnovers by D-C sparked the Lions to a 20-12 lead at the break as Presslak scored 9 points. Michalski had only one more blocked shot in the final three quarters.
The girls on this years squad have a lot of fight in them, Jost said. Nothing seems to deter them.
Viator also outrebounded D-C 17-4 in the second half to finish with a 35-25 advantage. Justice Johnson scored off 1 of her team-high 10 rebounds for a 26-14 lead with 3:45 left in the third.
We brought what we worked on in practice here tonight and it showed, Presslak said after the Lions had a 16-7 offensive rebound edge.
We struggled on the boards a little bit in the first two games, Jost said. Were slowly getting to where we want to be with everybody boxing out and going to the ball.
D-C got within 26-18 when Michalski (6 points) found Stephanie Magsamen for a layup and Magsamens steal led to Michalskis layup. But Erin Fabbri, who had 7 points along with Jennie Horstmann and Maddie McAteer, had a drive and a 3-pointer in an 11-point run which put Viator in command.
We didnt come to play tonight, said D-C coach Michelle Russell. (The turnovers) just kind of snowballed. We came out flat and this was just a learning-experience game.