Lyons Township's 3-point shooting sinks York
Olivia Mezan set the tone.
Soon all of her Lyons Township teammates were in harmony.
Their performance left York signing the blues.
Mezan, a senior guard, sank three 3-pointers during an opening 18-5 run and the visiting Lions never looked back in beating the Dukes 66-55 in a key early-season West Suburban Conference Silver Division game.
"We knew York was a very good team and they're a conference team," Mezan said. "We want to win conference, so I knew I had to come out ready to play.
"Once I felt the first one go in, I knew I was hot, so I just kept shooting it."
Mezan, who has committed to Missouri-St. Louis, finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the Lions (9-1, 4-0), who used balanced scoring and relentless rebounding to overcome a great individual performance by York guard Mariann Blass, who led all scorers with 25 points, including six 3-pointers.
"Olivia is a sparkplug," LT coach Meghan Hutches said. "She's a great competitor, she wants to win.
"Olivia really did set the tone for us with her energy, her shooting and her ability to rebound."
Indeed, Mezan's early shooting success and willingness to attack the boards rubbed off on the Lions, who extended the lead to 41-26 after Mezan made a steal and fed Ella Ormsby for a 3-pointer with 9 seconds left in the first half.
"She's obviously a big part of our team and we rely on her for shooting 3s," LT senior guard Hailey Markworth said. "She definitely lit up in the beginning and kept being aggressive throughout the game."
The Winona State-bound Markworth had another solid all-around performance, racking up 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
York cut the deficit to six points on three occasions, but each time the Lions had a quick response. After a Blass 3-pointer pulled the Dukes (7-3, 3-2) within 43-37, junior guard Ally Cesarini scored on a layup and Markworth followed with a pull-up jumper.
Blass buried another trey to make it 49-43, but Markworth scored on a drive to close the third quarter.
Elizabeth Baldridge opened the fourth quarter with an inside basket to cut York's gap to 51-45, but Markworth assisted center Izzy Lee for a layup to trigger a 10-0 run that put the game out of reach.
Cesarini finished with a career-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds. Lee added eight points and a game-high 12 boards and Ormsby chipped in seven points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.
"Offensively, I think we were amazing," Mezan said. "Everyone was contributing and not one person did nothing.
"That's how we are. We all contribute in every area of the game."
For Hutchens, the emphasis was rebounding. LT outboarded York 46-23, including 11-4 on the offensive glass.
"It was one of the keys to our game to outrebound them," Hutchens said. "So they all took initiative to do that."