Loyd not alone in helping Niles West win again
Niles West's Dashae Shumate (middle) drives to the basket against Glenbrook South during the Girls Basketball on January 5, 2012. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Maine South 4-1 17-1
Niles West 4-1 15-4
Glenbrook S. 3-2 14-4
Evanston 2-3 10-8
New Trier 2-3 12-4
Waukegan 0-4 2-14
Maine West 4-1 6-12
Niles North 3-1 9-9
Glenbrook N. 4-2 14-5
Deerfield 2-3 4-14
Highland Park 1-3 7-9
Maine East 0-4 2-13
Updated: February 13, 2012 8:43AM
Niles West superstar Jewell Loyd scored early and late in a 53-40 win over Glenbrook South in Skokie on Friday.
In between two big scoring bursts, the senior deferred to her teammates. Loyd hit four first-quarter three pointers, and scored 16 points of her 28 points in the opening nine minutes, as the Wolves (15-4, 4-1) built an early double-digit advantage.
But after that, Loyd didn’t come alive again offensively until the fourth quarter, when her seven straight points stretched a precarious five-point Wolves lead to a nearly insurmountable 12-point edge.
“There was no need for me to push myself or force stuff (during the middle two quarters). I have confidence in my team. I trust them and they trust me,” said Loyd, who had 11 rebounds. “When it was crunch time, I looked up and I was like, ‘Alright, it’s time to go, time to put the cherry on top.’ ”
Late in the second quarter, Loyd left the floor briefly after twisting her ankle while attempting to block a shot. But the University of Notre Dame-bound senior insisted she wasn’t bothered by the injury after that.
Niles West sophomore Dashae Shumate scored 12 points in the contest, most of them coming during the stretch, when Loyd was not scoring. Shumate scored a key bucket midway through the third quarter after GBS (14-4, 3-2) had cut Niles West’s lead to just three points. She also had an old-fashioned three-point play early in the fourth.
Shumate was strong going to the basket, and finished 6-for-9 from the free-throw line.
“Deshae, I’m excited for her. She’s come on and is getting better and better,” said Niles West head coach Tony Konsewicz. “I was really happy because she had some nice driving lay-ins that she converted. She’s been a little snakebit, missing a couple layups. But she battled in there.”
Konsewicz also has been pleased with Shumate’s play on defense.
“We told her that Jewell really turned it up defensively between (the start of) her sophomore and junior year,” Konsewicz said. “So we’d like to think Shay is starting to follow in those footsteps, where she can crank it up defensively.”
Defense had been a major focus for the Wolves in the week leading up to the Glenbrook South game, and they responded with a strong defensive effort on the perimeter, holding the Titans to just 1-for-7 shooting from three-point range.
Glenbrook South also helped Niles West’s defensive stats by missing several open layups and shooting just 10-for-22 from the free-throw line.
Another key to Niles West’s performance on both sides of the ball was the return from injury of junior Molly Kleppin, who had been out since early December. Kleppin played three minutes off the bench in the first half.
“At halftime, said she felt great,” Konsewicz said. “So we tried to extend her minutes in there. She’s such a big part of our defense and what we do, not only what she does on her (opponent), but she covers up and rotates really well.”
Kleppin scored three points, as did senior Liz Troyk, and senior center Jackie Cardenas had four points and five rebounds. Sophomore guard Alex Galanopoulos added a bucket for Niles West.
Konsewicz said it’s important for the Wolves to continue to get points from players other than Loyd.
“Jewell is so unselfish with the ball. If she doesn’t have to carry the load, that’s a plus for us,” the coach said. “We’re a young team, starting two sophomores, but the more confidence we get those other girls, the better we’re going to be in February (for the IHSA postseason).”
On the schedule: Konsewicz labels Niles West’s schedule as one of the toughest in the state.
Niles West visits Waukegan at 7:30 p.m. Friday before returning home to face powerhouse Whitney Young at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The Wolves then face three-time defending Class 4A state champion Bolingbrook in the McDonald’s Shootout, at Willowbrook High School, at 7 p.m. Jan. 16.