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By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Lisle wins regional title, extends school win record to 26

 

Last updated 2/19/2020 at 2:03pm



With the 7-degree temperature outside, the IHSA Class 2A Girls Lisle Regional championship game along the very frozen banks of the DuPage River turned into a hotly-contested game.

With the host Lions (26-7) comfortably ahead 30-18 in the middle of the third quarter, the very youthful Chargers made things very interesting.

St. Joseph (10-15), who’s starting lineup consists of three freshmen and two juniors, closed to within 33-27 with 6:08 on the clock. With all the momentum, it looked like the youthful Chargers were going to take the regional championship from the Lions.

Lisle juniors Cassidy Allen, Abby Casmer and Emma Rossin stepped up, big time.

Allen, who scored six of her game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter nailed a pair of free throws for a 35-27 Lion lead.

Casmer electrified the Lion faithful when she would go coast-to-coast to score giving the Lions a 37-27 lead with 4:42 left.

With 3:20, the Lions’ junior sharp-shooter Emma Rossin (nine points) buried a three-point dagger, her third of the game that extended the Lions lead to 40-27. Allen’s driving lay-up would finish the 9-0 Lion run and give the Lions a 42-27 lead with three minutes left.

“I’m a driver. I love to drive to the basket,” Allen said. “St. Joe’s went to a man-to-man defense and I love going against man-to-man. I can just drive by my defender.”

The Lions rolled to the 48-33 victory secured their 2020 IHSA Class 2A Lisle Regional Champions. The 26 Lion victories this season, extends the Lisle school record for most victories in a season.

Allen scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds, leading the Lions to a 13-10 first quarter lead.

Casmer and 6-foot sophomore Kylie Russell ignited a 9-0 run, giving the Lions a 22-10 lead in the second quarter. The lead grew to 28-13 and the Lions would go to their halftime locker room up, 28-15.

Coming off the bench at the start of the second quarter, the up-and-coming freshman, Russell took over the game and scored six points, hauled down five rebounds, blocked a shot and handed out an assist in the second quarter.

Casmer scored six points and Rossin buried her second three-pointer.

“This feels so good to win the regional championship,” Casmer said.”St. Joseph wanted to win tonight so they could go home and play in their IHSA Class 2A St. Joseph Sectional next week. We were not going to let them go home and take with them the Class 2A Lisle Regional Championship. This is our championship.”

Allen and Casmer both had double-doubles for the night. Allen scored 15 points, hauled down 10 rebounds and added four steals. Casmer, scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The diminutive, 5-foot-1 Lion point guard, junior Tara Kane, scored four points, had five steals and grabbed eight rebounds. Junior Jenna Johnson scored two points, grabbed six rebounds and had two steals.

“This is my third regional championship since I have been here at Lisle.” Lisle coach Nick Balaban said. “I am so happy for our girls to have won this regional championship. They are such a great group and they are close friends. They very much deserve this great moment.

“We played with great energy tonight. We made a few mistakes but overall we played very well, against a very good St. Joseph team.”

“This along with winning the Illinois Central 8 Conference was what he have been working for all season,” Allen added. “I will think about our sectional semifinal game on Tuesday night later. I just want to go home and celebrate this great victory.”

 

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