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Downers North girls off to solid start, but focus remains on WSS title

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 2:00 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:49 p.m. CST
Caption
Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com Downers Grove North's Lauren Porcelli passes the ball during a Dec. 5 home game against Glenbard West. Porcelli and the Trojans remain undefeated in conference play as they strive for a West Suburban Silver title.

DOWNERS GROVE – The first game after holiday break was going to be a big one for Downers Grove North’s girls basketball team.

The Trojans were slated to play Proviso West Tuesday, with the winner of the game getting a leg up in the race for the West Suburban Silver title. But on Monday, classes for Tuesday in District 99 were canceled, and with them all after-school activities.

The Trojans will have to wait to face the Panthers for the first time, but it doesn’t put a damper on the successful season they have already had. North recently capped a 3-1 run at the Wheaton North tournament with a win over Lyons Township in the third-place game on Dec. 28.

A year after struggling for much of the season, North is riding high with a 12-2 mark overall and a 5-0 record in the WSS. The primary reason why is evident to Bolt.

“The kids, they’re a close-knit group that believes in each other and what we can do,” Bolt said. “They work hard and continue to get better.”

While the 2012-13 didn’t bring as much success as Bolt or his players had hoped, it was a building block they needed to have in order to be in contention for the conference title this season.

“We had a lot of close games with a young team last year, and we really learned a lot from that,” the coach said. “Last year we played in a lot of close games, but we weren’t able to close them out. Now when we’re in close games, we’re finding ways to win them.”

Sophomore starters Jaida Green and Lauren Porcelli played extensively on varsity last season and have taken their games to the next level this year. Green is leading the team with 17 points per game while Porcelli is averaging 7.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest.

Seniors Sarah Costello (12.8 points per game) and Colleen Honn have provided leadership and consistent play, and junior forward Peyton Winters has developed into a key player who is averaging 12 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Sophomores Madison Farnsworth and Arlinda Osmani are also part of Bolt’s regular rotation.

A WSS victory over Hinsdale Central prior to the holidays was a big win this season, but it was just one step on what the Trojans hope will be a successful journey.

“The No. 1 thing on our minds, our No. 1 goal, is to win the conference championship,” Bolt said. “We’ve never won one before at Downers Grove North. They take pride in working toward that, and when we find a way to do that, that will be our standout game.”

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Next game

Who: Glenbrook South at Downers Grove North

What: Nonconference girls basketball

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: 4436 Main St., Downers Grove

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