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Madison Richmond (left) of Rosary and Mary Wentworth of Guerin react to a loose ball after the two collided. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
New Rosary girls basketball coach Jessie Wilcox came in the door stressing defense when she took over the program.
With Monday’s showing against Guerin in Suburban Christian Blue play, Wilcox couldn’t have been more pleased with the Royals’ defensive performance.
Rosary cruised to a 44-12 win, generating 35 turnovers and holding Guerin to 3-for-29 shooting from the field.
“We always focus on defense,” Wilcox said. “Obviously defense wins games. A lot of times we don’t shoot the best percentage from the field, so we need to hold teams to as few points as possible. I was so proud of our defense tonight. You can’t ask for anything better.”
Senior Karly Tate was a perfect example of what Wilcox was talking about. Tate only scored four points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field, but she hauled down 11 rebounds and had eight steals.
“Even if she’s not scoring points, she looks for others to score and still does her job on defense,” Wilcox said. “She doesn’t let her head fall and get out of her game completely. She still does what you can control, and you can control rebounding and defense and she did a great job with that.”
Rosary (5-4 overall, 2-0 SCC Blue) scored the first 11 points of the game and held Guerin (4-3, 0-2) without a point until there were nine seconds left in the first quarter. A 15-1 run in the second half put the game away for good.
Sophomore Quincy Kellett paced the Royals with 14 points. Rachel Choice added 10 points, all in the first half.
“Quincy has been pretty aggressive for us,” Wilcox said. “We definitely want to keep doing that and keep pushing the ball. What I love about Quincy is that she’s a fighter. She’s not afraid of anything and she’s going to take it to you. Whether she has 14 or two points, she’s going to take it to you.”
The Royals turn around with another conference game tomorrow at home against Walther Lutheran, and it’s a good bet that defense will be the message of the day yet again.
“I’m a believer that defense wins games,” Tate said. “I told the team before the game that if we come out with defensive intensity, that’s going to create our offense. This was a great example of that. That’s what works for us.”