By Drake Skleba
For the Enterprise 

Trojan girls and boys sweep District 99 Crosstown Classic at Downers Grove South


Last updated 12/22/2019 at 12:29pm

In the 2018 District 99 Crosstown Classic between the girls and boys varsity basketball teams from Downers Grove North and Downers Grove South, Downers Grove South swept North.

The gals and guys of DGN, used a pair of record-setting performances, to tame the host Mustang's.

Led by a career-high 23 points from senior Alexis Parker, the Downers Grove North (10-3) girls ran away from Downers Grove South 55-29.

On the boys side, led by a 24-point career-high from 6-foot-5 junior Kyle Engstler, the Trojans (6-3) held off the

Mustangs 56-46.


After defeating Glenbard West 40-36 at historic Biester Gymnasium on Friday,Trojan coach Stephen Bolt feared a let-down from his girls.

No such worries.

Scoring 13 of her game-high 23 points in the first half, Alexis Parker led the Trojans to a 23-14 lead at the half. Leading the Mustangs was junior sharpshooter Meghan Stapleton (14 points, one 3), who had eight points at the break.

"My teammates really set me up to score," Parker said. "I was really hitting all of my shots. I do not believe I have ever had a better game in my Downers Grove North Trojan career."

In the third quarter, the Gross Sisters, senior Ellie (three points, four assists, three rebounds, four steals) and sophomore Kate, each buried a long-range three pointers to increase the Trojan lead to 30-14.

"Alexis was outstanding. All we had to was get her the ball and she would score," Ellie Gross said. "Its always great to beat South anytime."

Parker scored the last four points of the third quarter, as the Trojans led 39-21 after three quarters.

The Trojans blew the game open in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Ryan Wendt added eight points, while 6-foot, sophomore, Eleanor Harris, scored seven points, hauled down seven rebounds and added two steals.

For Downers Grove South (4-8), senior Briana Anderson, would chip in with seven points.

"I was very concerned that after last night's big win at Glenbard West that the girls might suffer from a letdown," Bolt said. "We came out and played great on defense. We knew what a great shooter, Meghan Stapleton is and we held her to only one three-point basket in the game.

"We passed the ball very well and what a game by Alexis Parker. What a great weekend for the girls. On to the Wheaton North Holiday Tournament on Monday."

"We really feel we can win the Wheaton North Holiday Tournament, next week," Ellie Gross added.


Entering the final game of the 2019 District 99 Crosstown Classic, Trojan boys coach Jim Thomas received a pregame text alerting him to this fact: the Trojan boys and girls, freshman A and B squads had defeated Downers Grove South. The Trojan boys and girls sophomore squads had defeated the Mustangs. And right before his Trojans game, the Trojan girls varsity had just routed the Mustang gals.

South was 7-0 on the day against their rivals. Would Thomas and his varsity boys, complete the Trojan sweep?

After a hard-fought first half, the Trojans (6-3) clung to a 25-19 lead over the Mustangs (1-8). Engstler scored 14 of his game-high 24 points, in the first 16 minutes of action.

After Mustang junior Jake Dimovsky's (10 points, three 3's) back-to-back long-range three pointers pulled the host Mustangs to within 30-27, Trojan 6-foot-5 junior Jack Mielke (13 points, two 3's) stepped up with two minutes to go in the third quarter.

Mielke went on a personal 8-1 run to close out the quarter and increase his Trojan lead to 38-28 at the end of three.

"My teammates were able to get me the ball for wide-open shots," Mielke said. "It felt great to knock down the big threes to close out the run."

The fourth quarter became a free-throw parade for the Trojans.

Engstler (24 points seven rebounds) hit seven of 10 in the quarter but the Trojans missed numerous free throws, which allowed the Mustangs to erase a 20- point Trojan lead and get as close as 52-44 with one minute remaining.

"We all played really hard today and it is always good to beat South," Engstler said. "My teammates gave me the ball in good positions to score. I really shot the ball well tonight. It was the best game of my Trojan career."

Junior Chris Gory scored nine points for the Mustangs, while junior Angelo Ognianov, chipped in with eight points.

For the victorious Trojans, junior Nate Demos and sophomore Griff Ilyavi each had seven points.

"Downers Grove North followed their shots well tonight and we left far too, many points, at the free throw line," Downers Grove South coach Kris Olson said. "Mielke's two big threes in the third quarter killed us."

"In a hard-fought, high energy game, we played well and picked up the win," Thomas said. "Jack (Mielke) hit the game-winner over Proviso West, played well in the loss last night to Glenbard West and shot the ball well for us tonight. I hope this is the first of many career games for Kyle in his young Trojan career. We did it. Downers Grove North finished 8-0 in the District 99 Crosstown Classic. I'd have to check the record book but I believe we are the first to accomplish it."


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