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Tim O’Brien’s girls basketball notebook

12/10/2012, 7:35pm CST
By Tim O’Brien

Joliet Catholic races to an 8-1 start but is still looking to improve defensively, while Plainfield Central is trying to find the right mix of players.

Even with an 8-1 record, Joliet Catholic coach Ed Schodrof does not want his players to become complacent or big-headed.

Nowhere was that more evident than last week’s blowout win at Plainfield Central. When Schodrof did not like what he saw out of his team, he wasted little time telling them.

“We pulled the starters out twice at different points in the game,” he said. “We know what they’re capable of, and our defense was not good. We cannot play like that if we want to compete with the teams in our conference.”

In Jasmine Lumpkin (19 points per game) and Nicole Ekhomu (17 points), the Angels have two of the area’s most dependable scorers. In Christine Ekhomu, Treyvonya McClain, Mary Rouse and Lauren Vanisko, Joliet Catholic has a quartet of consistent role players.

The Angels face a difficult test Thursday at East Suburban Catholic rival Fenwick before heading to the Ottawa Tournament this weekend. All Schodrof is asking for is a continued commitment on the defensive end.

“If we want to go to the next level as a program, we’re going to have to play a lot better defensively as a team,” he said.

Plainfield Central toeing the line

Losing 18 points-per-game-scorer Brigid Hanley and four of five starters from last season’s team, Plainfield Central coach Mark Krusz still is looking for the right combination of players. But despite some early struggles, Krusz isn’t panicking.

“Once you get through the Christmas tournaments, you really get a chance to see what other teams are going to do to you,” Krusz said. “I never question the effort or that we’re playing hard. It just comes down to execution.”

Krusz said Jasmine Cortez and Dana Dominguez have played well for the Wildcats. After a loss to Plainfield South, Central sits at 2-5 and will host Oswego East on Tuesday.

Krusz utilizes line changes, sending in waves of fresh players every few minutes.

“We’ve got those line changes because we’ve got a lot of players who are very similar,” Krusz said. “We will go right at you at 100 miles per hour.

“Sometimes you can find (an opponent) who can go 120 miles per hour.”

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