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Addison Trail turns over a new leaf
By D.J. Wanberg | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 1/3/2013 8:29 PM

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It’s the time of year that every one works on resolutions. The Addison Trail girls basketball team had been working on its biggest one way before it was time to break the seal on a new calendar.

The team’s quest to cut down on turnovers was very much in evidence Thursday afternoon during the first game of 2013 for the Blazers, a 64-47 win over visiting Lake Park in nonconference play.

Addison Trail coach Rob Schader said he aimed for under 15, and the Blazers (5-11) finished with 9.

“We’ve been focusing on that (turnovers) big time. It was big today. We’ve been committing too many turnovers — passing it at people’s feet or just tossing it if there’s pressure,” he said. “This group works really hard in practice, and we’re just trying to do in games what we do in practice.”

Addison Trail made just 3 turnovers in the first half, with the third one coming just before halftime and the Blazers use the extra time with the basketball to their big advantage.

Leading 16-7 after the first quarter, Addison Trail shot 7-of-17 from the field in the second, including three 3-point baskets, for a 21-7 scoring advantage and a 37-14 intermission lead.

Claudia Denigris scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half and teammate Kelsey Horvath, who hit for 9 points, scored the last two baskets of the first half which put the finishing touches on an 11-0 run for the Blazers.

“We were just communicating a lot and making our passes,” said Kallie Dodmead, who scored a team-high 17 points and whose second-half play was crucial in holding off a revived Lake Park offense.

Dodmead scored 12 second-half points to help counter Lake Park’s Emily Duckhorn’s 15-point effort in the final two quarters that gave her a game-high 22 points.

The Lancers (0-19) outscored the Blazers 33-27 in the second half and cut the lead to as little as 15 when Duckhorn’s shot made it 47-32 with 6:31 left in the game. Lake Park started the third quarter by making 4 of its first 6 shots.

“Offensively, there was a lot of improvement in the second half. We opened up more and there was a lot more freelance,” said Lancers coach Andrea Miller. “Defensively, I think we lost focus in the first half and gave up too many easy baskets.”

Thursday’s game was the first of five straight home games for the Blazers. They have just three road games left in the regular season and are aware of the opportunity to build some momentum.

“Coach has talked about that, and the need to just keep pressuring teams,” Dodmead said.

The Blazers return to action and West Suburban Gold play Jan. 11 against Hinsdale South.

The Lancers return to play quickly with a 2:30 p.m. game Saturday against Palatine.

“We’ll keep working hard in practice and try to get better,” Miller said.