By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

Lady Raiders, Thomas hold off much-improved L-W East Griffin girls


Last updated 2/9/2021 at 10:13am

After taking home the IHSA Class 4A Third Place trophy in 2019-20, the 2021 season finally commenced in Frankfort on Monday night.

Led by its Montini Catholic transfer Tatiana Thomas, Bolingbrook (1-0, 1-0), defeated the scrappy hosts from Lincoln-Way East 73-65.

Leading 39-32 at the half, Thomas, who scored a game-high 22 points in her first game as a Lady Raider, exploded for 11 third-quarter points.

The Raider defense turned the Griffins over 10 times in the quarter and the Raiders opened up a 58-39 lead after three quarters. Thomas also hauled down eight rebounds in the game - just missing a double-double.

"It was great to finally get on the floor with my new teammates," Thomas said. "I owe all of my success tonight to the up-tempo style of play here at Bolingbrook. I had so much fun tonight."

In the first quarter, 5-foot-9 junior Madisyn Saracco lit up the gym scoring 13 of her 15 points in the game in the quarter. Saracco's explosion led to a 21-10 Lady Raider first-quarter lead.

"It was so much fun for me to finally get on the floor and play basketball," Saracco said. "And to play with this team was just great. It felt so good to have my shots falling, in the first quarter."

Madisyn's big brother (6-foot-7 Joey, Bolingrook Class of 2018), starred in both football and basketball for the Raiders, while another big brother, Danny was an all-area linebacker for Plainfield South in 2015.

Freshman Angelina Smith shined in her first varsity game for Bolingbrook scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds.

Junior Kennedi Perkins, who burst on the scene last year as a sophomore, scored 11 of her 18 points in the second quarter, and had another of her game-winning plays with 2:26 left in the game.

The feisty Griffins had closed within 67-55. With fire in her eyes, Perkins took the ball at the top of the key and drove to the basket, scored and was fouled and converted the old fashioned three-point play.

"Lincoln-Way East was making a strong run at us," Perkins said. "Yes. I knew I had to make a play for us. It was so much fun for me to be playing with my new teammates. Tatiana had a great game for us and helped lead us to victory. Madisyn had a great first quarter and played well and Angelina Smith, who is only a freshman was great. I remember how nervous I was in my first varsity game as a freshman."

The Lady Raiders host Bradley-Bourbonnais on Thursday before a trip to Joliet to play the West Tigers on Saturday at 4 p.m.

"It was great to get in our first game of the season," Bolingbrook coach Chris Smith said. "We had a number of new players for us tonight that all played well. Tatiana was outstanding and what was great to see was she was successful within our system.

"Freshman Angelina Smith played well and Madisyn really got us off to a good start in the first quarter."


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