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Hinsdale Central girls stumble after hot start

HINSDALE – Hinsdale Central’s girls basketball team was loving life during a season-opening six-game winning streak.

Two recent losses were a bit harder to stomach.

The Red Devils – whose offense carried them to those six straight wins to start the season – stumbled slightly in the last week, losing to Benet and conference foe Lyons Township over a three-game span.

It’s hard to fault the offense, which has averaged 57.7 points in the last four contests, but the defense has given up 60 or more points both losses this season.

However, head coach Tom McKenna is not pushing the panic button quite yet, instead trusting his senior-laden roster to overcome the season’s first wave of adversity.

“These girls have been here before,” McKenna said. “We have a lot of seniors on this team who have shown a lot of poise in the past. We have a good team and I think we will continue to be competitive no matter who our opponent is.”

Junior guard Gabrielle Rush continues to pace the the Red Devils’ offense. Rush scored 15 points during a 64-55 loss against Benet Dec. 5, then led all scorers with 29 points against Lyons Township on Tuesday.

Late foul trouble erased an early Hinsdale Central lead against LT. The Red Devils held an 11-point advantage in the first half but watched the Lions claw back into the game thanks to several whistles in the second.

Ultimately, Central forwards Jenna Broz and Emily Wasz fouled out on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter, and Lyons Township sunk 17-of-21 free throws in the final frame to take over the game.

The loss marked the first West Suburban Silver conference defeat of the season for Hinsdale Central, which had previously defeated York and Glenbard West in conference play.

The team has little time to lament, however, as it prepares to go on the road to Downers Grove North on Saturday. The Red Devils will then have an eight-day break before competing in the Wheaton North Falcon Classic Tournament during winter break.

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