CHICAGO – Lyons Township’s girls basketball team saw its season end Friday, but the Lions met the goals they set at the beginning of the year.
LT knocked off Hinsdale Central in the regional semifinal 57-44 to advance to the regional championship, where they lost to host and top sectional seed Whitney Young 71-42.
“As I look back over the season, one of the things that I was really happy with was that we were able to develop a strong team bond,” coach Paul Krick said. “Our team chemistry was strong, and we were able to accomplish some team goals.”
Three goals that the team set before the season were realized. Two were to improve during the season and put a winning stretch together toward the end of the season. The Lions finished with an 18-9 record, having won seven of eight games entering the regional final.
“Winning seven out of eight down the stretch and beating Hinsdale Central was big,” Krick said. “We also had an opportunity to play some teams with some good records and beat Riverside Brookfield, Maine West and Naz.”
Finally, the girls wanted to win a playoff game since the program hadn’t won one since the 2009-10 season, which is before any of them were at the school. They did that, and got the added bonus of knocking out rival Hinsdale Central, which was a rubber match for the season series after the teams split two regular-season meetings.
Ultimately, the game against Whitney Young, which is one of the top teams in the state, gave the Lions a glimpse at a high level opponent.
“I was happy with the opportunity because it shows our girls what it takes to challenge for sectional, supersectional and state appearances,” Krick said.
Senior Kayla Morrissey was the team’s only senior starter and an all-conference player. She was a leader for the team in more ways than just stats.
“She did such a great job this year leading by example,” Krick said. “It was good for our girls to see her work ethic.”
Junior guard Victoria Swift also was an all-conference player. Both Morrissey and Swift advanced in the 3-point shootout that took place at the regional final.
Morrissey and fellow seniors Carly Oboikovitz and Stacy Demes were academic all-conference. The rest of the Lions will be expected to lead a more veteran squad.
“I got smart girls who will play hard,” Krick said. “We just need to get them more experience against tougher talent.”