It was a wild night of regional playoff basketball at Glenbrook North High School on Wednesday night. Evanston shredded Niles North 76-29 behind a balanced scoring attack led by guard Tyler Mayne. In a more competitive low scoring affair, Glenbrook North defeated Taft 44-37 behind a 24-point performance from sophomore forward Brooke Blumenfeld. Strong defensive play and patience on the offensive end were key factors in Glenbrook North’s victory. Here are standouts from those games:
Angela Anderson (Taft High School IL 2021): Sharpshooting guard, who proved to be one of Taft’s most consistent offensive options against Glenbrook North. Anderson exhibited a very nice shooting stroke with four, 3-pointers in the game. Had some nice moves (shifty footwork, sidestep, etc) to take the defender off the dribble and had a couple good drives to the hoop. Showed good anticipation and work ethic on the defensive end, accumulating three steals.
Brooke Blumenfeld (Glenbrook North High School IL 2022): Scoring a game high 24 points, Blumenfeld was a dominant presence in the interior for Glenbrook North and Taft didn’t have an answer for her defensively. Scored extremely well in the paint, exhibiting nice footwork and athletic moves. Her teammates kept feeding her inside and she scored quickly and in bunches. She absorbed contact well and had a couple of “and 1” opportunities. Made some nice cuts to the basket and showed she can score from midrange, sinking a couple of jumpers. She was great on the glass and proved to be a strong rim protector on the defensive end as well with a couple of blocks. If this game is of any evidence, the sophomore has a promising future ahead of her.
Krystyna Ellew (Taft High School IL 2021): Ellew didn’t have one of her high scoring games we’ve become so accustomed to this season, scoring 13 points against Glenbrook North. However, there were some positives in her performance. She shot well from beyond the arc with three, 3-pointers. She drove to the basket aggressively, showing off nice moves (spin move for example) to avoid defenders and get to the rim. She attracts a lot attention from defenders while driving and showed good vision finding open teammates for a couple of assists inside. She has a quick shooting release and can hit turnaround jumpers in the paint. Aggressive on the defensive end and had three steals in the game. This performance aside, Ellew has an incredibly high ceiling.
Kayla Henning (Evanston High School IL 2020): Once again, as she has all season, Henning exhibited rock solid point guard skills in Evanston’s big victory. She has a nice handle and uses a variety of moves (crossover, quick foot work, etc…) to beat her defender off the dribble. The senior shows good patience on the court and will wait for a teammate to get open and hit them with an accurate pass. She had a couple of nice assists from the perimeter to teammates inside. Also, had a couple of steals on the defensive end and drained a 3-pointer.
Lola Lesmond (Evanston High School IL 2022): Solid spot up shooter, who excels in her role on Evanston. Lesmond ended up scoring 14 points against Niles North showing a great shooting stroke beyond the arc, draining three, 3-pointers. She played well in transition, getting down the floor quickly, scoring and dishing out assists to teammates near the basket. She worked hard on defense and had a couple of steals. Showed nice energy and toughness.
Salah Martinez (Niles North High School IL 2020): Quick guard who loves attacking the basket. Martinez uses her quickness and handle to beat the defender off the dribble and get to the rim. When driving she has a solid ball fake when near the rim and has a knack for drawing contact from the defender. She got to the free throw line a couple times drawing contact. Shows good energy and effort on both sides of the court. She was one of the only effective players for Niles North in the tough to swallow loss against a loaded Evanston squad.
Tyler Mayne (Evanston High School IL 2020): Mayne had a strong performance against Niles North scoring 18 points and contributed on both ends of the floor. Scored well inside and in the paint, hitting a couple of runners in the lane. Had some good drives to the basket, distributing the ball well to teammates in the paint. Good on the glass and showed nice range beyond the arc with a couple 3-pointers. She was a ball hawk defensively accumulating 4 steals. Ran down the floor well in transition and set teammates up for buckets. An energetic player who was all over the court all game.
Jayla Turchin (Evanston High School IL 2020): Wing guard with sneaky quickness and excellent court vision and nice overall game. Turchin distributed the ball well while driving, from the perimeter and in transition. She had a number of nice assists in the game, including one where she found an open teammate for a 3-pointer while driving the basketball in transition. Has a solid handle on the basketball and had some nice drives slashing to the rim. Showed some range from beyond the arc, sinking a 3-pointer and made a difference on the defensive end with a couple of steals and a block. A steady presence in Evanston’s back court.