Despite record, Bartlett's showing improvement

Improvement cannot simply be judged by wins and losses.

Despite its 0-7 record, Bartlett's girls basketball team showed marked signs of improvement during last week's Upstate Eight Conference action.

After dropping a 45-41 decision to Glenbard East (3-3, 2-0) on Nov. 29, the Hawks (0-2 in UEC play) suffered a 42-41 loss to West Chicago last Friday.

Junior Amadea Montijo paced the Hawks with a game-high 24 points, while seniors Johnyea Wyatt and Sam Blanchard added 6 points apiece.

Defensively, sophomore guard Ceci Desarden was credited with taking a pair of charges.

"We have been getting better every day," said Bartlett coach Tanner Gardon. "We now have had two close games with chances to win at the end.

"Those games didn't turn out the way we wanted but we are doing some really good things and the girls are stepping up."

Considering the Hawks went 0-5 and suffered double-digit defeats in every game at the season-opening Schaumburg Thanksgiving Classic, the narrow conference losses are something to build upon.

"It's all about whether this group can come together and fully trust each other," said Gardon, whose team begins a 4 games in 6 days stretch Thursday against East Aurora. "If we do that, these close games will start ending with Ws."

Defending Upstate Eight Conference champion South Elgin began its title defense with a 73-45 victory over Elgin on Nov. 29.

However, South Elgin's 20-game conference winning streak - dating back 2 years - came to an end following last Friday's 53-45 loss to Glenbard South (6-0, 2-0) in Glen Ellyn.

Senior point guard Raina Yang scored a team-high 18 points against the Raiders.

Yang, a 4-year starter, is the captain and "quarterback" of the team, according to Storm head coach Dan Mandernack.

"Raina has kept us afloat," said Mandernack. "She is so skilled and smart on the floor and her effort to begin the season has been unbelievable."

Playing without injured senior forward Zoie Lewis (expected back in January) and sophomore Lexi Lopez, South Elgin has struggled at times against taller competition.

"We are getting beat on the offensive glass a ton and giving up many second-chance points," said Mandernack. "Glenbard South outrebounded us on the offensive end, 28-4."

South Elgin takes to the road for back-to-back games against Glenbard East and Schaumburg Friday and Saturday.

"The kids' heart and hustle is amazing, and I'm very proud of the effort and desire," said the coach. "Better days will come. Our schedule has been extremely tough which will help us in the long run."

Geneva earned a split last weekend, defeating Glenbard North 55-28 in its DuKane Conference opener last Friday before suffering a 61-57 loss to Barrington in Saturday's Chicagoland Classic at Fremd.

Lauren Slagle led the Vikings with 12 points against Glenbard North, while Cassidy Arni and Leah Palmer chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Against Barrington, the Vikings (5-2, 1-0) received an 18-point performance from Palmer but it wasn't enough to offset the Fillies' sizzling 18-for-20 free-throw shooting. Arni added 11 points for Geneva.

"We had two good looks that just didn't go down," said Geneva coach Sarah Meadows. "Barrington shot a lot of foul shots in the second half (12 of 13). We must be better from the line (7 of 15).

"These games are helping us so much. They're exactly the type of games we want to be a part of."

In other Chicagoland Classic action, Batavia (4-1) beat Marian Catholic 36-20 behind 14 points from Brooke Carlson. Addie Prewitt and Kylee Gehrt added 7 and 6 points, respectively, while St. Charles North (6-1) suffered its first loss, an 80-54 decision to Bolingbrook. Reagan Sipla paced the North Stars with 20 points.

St. Charles East handed Waubonsie Valley its first loss of the season, 55-54, on Nov. 29.

"Emma (Yakey) made a good pass and Lexi (DiOrio) made a big shot to win it for us," said Saints coach Josh Foster.

"We also got some great minutes and solid production on the glass from Marissa Kalamaris. She had 9 points and 9 rebounds and was a big part of our success."

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