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Emily Ray doesn’t have to watch television to find a role model for herself as a player for Lincoln-Way West.
She can turn to her older sister, Kaitlyn, a former star at West who is a student and basketball player at the University of St. Francis.
“She’s taught me a lot,” Ray said. “I look up to her so much. She tore her ACL again (and is facing a third surgery). When she goes down, it’s hard on me, too.”
Ray went a long way in lifting her sister’s spirits up Monday, scoring a career-high 17 points as West defeated Lemont 53-38 in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Hoops at Joliet West.
The Warriors (10-9) poured in nine three-pointers. Ray had four of them and was 6-of-10 overall from the field, while Amanda Hozzian (11 points) added three treys and Danielle Morgan (8) two.
“We have a lot of three-point shooters,” Ray said. “When we’re all knocking them down it becomes kind of a domino effect.”
Hozzian’s first two gave West a quick 6-0 lead that ballooned to 14-4 by the end of the first period. Lemont scrambled back to within seven points midway through the second quarter before Ray responded with two more long-range baskets.
It was 27-14 at halftime. Lemont, missing myriad layups and turning the ball over 17 times, never found a real offensive groove and fell behind by as many as 20 points.
“The big difference was we didn’t move our feet well enough on defense to stop their penetration,” Indians coach Bill Bozue said. “Then they’d kick out to the wide-open shooter. But even if we did, we had shots on offense that we just couldn’t put in. We missed too many easy shots.”