Wendt and Harris lead D.G. North girls past D.G. South girls in District 99 crosstown classic
Minooka girls pick up first win of 2021 over Yorkville
Last updated 2/17/2021 at 8:45pm
Normally, the Downers Grove School District 99 crosstown classic between North and South High is part of a girl and boy hoops doubleheader at either school.
Due to the fallout from the virus, the girls' game was played on the North Side and the boys battle was played on the South Side and because of HSA virus restrictions only 24 DGN parents were in attendance for the girls game.
Even with the small crowd in attendance, both schools came out with a lot of energy.
Behind juniors Ryann Wendt and 6-foot Eleanor Harris, the hosts from Downers Grove North defeated their rivals from Downers Grove South 44-28. With the win the Trojans improve to 3-0 on the season.
Wendt led the Trojans with 13 points, hauled down four rebounds and added three steals.
Harris scored seven of her eight points in the second half.
Harris also grabbed five rebounds and as she has accomplished her entire career at DGN — a shot blocker-deluxe — she picked up four more shot rejections on the night.
For the Mustangs (0-2), senior Meghan Stapleton fighting through double and sometimes triple-teams still managed to score a game-high 16 points.
The Trojans jumped out to a 5-0 lead with three minutes remaining in the opening quarter. The Mustangs would rally and close to within 6-5, when Stapleton hit a long-range three-pointer, to close out the quarter.
Forcing nine Mustang turnovers, the Trojan defense broke open the game. Behind Wendt and junior Katie Gross (six points,four rebounds,three steals),the Trojans took a 20-10 lead into their halftime locker room.
Wendt led the Trojans with eight points. Stapleton scored six points, to lead the Mustangs at the break.
Harris opened the third quarter picking up her third and fourth blocks of the game while scoring three points. Wendt and the Trojan defense forced six more Mustang turnovers and broke open the game.
The Trojans led 33-15 after three quarters.
Trojan 5-foot-11 junior Vanesa Linge, while spelling Harris, put on a show. Linge scored five points, hauled down eight rebounds and blocked a Mustang shot.
13 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. A double double for the Trojan tall girls inside.
"Eleanor and Vanessa were outstanding tonight inside for us," Downers Grove North coach Stephan Bolt said. "Eleanor is so long that she knows how to block shots without getting into foul trouble."
Mustang senior Jordin Grant chipped in with four points, four rebounds and had two steals for DGS.
"There is always great atmosphere in this game every year. Even with only 24 people in attendance, there was great energy in the gym," Downers Grove South coach Lyndsie Long said. "We hurt ourselves with too many turnovers. We have to work on that in practice. I thought we played solid defense tonight. North is a very good team with quality players. We are still learning with hopes of improving each game.
"Meghan (Stapleton) was double and triple-teamed all night and showed what a great player she is scoring a game-high 16 points. We have to get her some help."
Finally playing and being undefeated, Wendt and Harris had the same reaction to the game.
"Awesome and great," the Trojan juniors stated in unison.
"We came out with a lot of energy and played great defense tonight," Wendt said. "Eleanor was outstanding on the boards and blocking shots for us."
"Ryann is our leader and plays with great energy," Harris said. "Ryann is always on the floor diving for loose balls."
The entire 2021 Trojans roster will return in November of this year, for the 2021-22 Trojan girls basketball season.
While the future looks bright at North, Wendt and Harris had a message about this year.
"Don't forget about 2021," Wendt and Harris said. "We're going to do great things this year like winning the West Suburban Silver."
"We're going to win the WSC Silver next year, too," Trojan junior Ella Sebek concluded.
"We played good defense," Bolt added. "We're not there yet but we are getting better. It is nice to be 3-0 and it's always good to beat DGS!
Note: The Downers Grove North boys improved to 3-0 also with a 58-48 District 99 Crosstown Classic victory on Downers Grove's South Side on Tuesday night.
In Tuesday's Southwest Prairie West girls varsity basketball contest at Yorkville, the Indians of Minooka (1-2, 1-2) opened up an 11-2 lead after one quarter. The host Foxes (1-3, 1-2) rallied back to tie the score at 35 at the end of three quarters before the Indians pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 44-35 victory.
Minooka was led by senior Maizy Caves who tallied 13 points for the Indians, while freshman Makenzie Brass, added nine points. Junior Brianna Simmons, chipped in with eight points for the victorious Indians.
On Friday, the Indians will host West Aurora (2-2, 2-1) at 7 p.m.