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The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Sullivan Sisters bring bluegrass to Evanston
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Marin Ubersox, In-Depth Editor • February 22, 2024
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Girls basketball triumphs at New Trier in high-scoring contest to close conference play

With the victory, ETHS extends win streak to four days before IHSA playoff bracket is revealed
Senior+Kailey+Starks+took+home+28+points+to+be+the+highest+scorer+of+the+79-68+victory+for+the+Kits.
Alexis Rogers
Senior Kailey Starks took home 28 points to be the highest scorer of the 79-68 victory for the Kits.

The Kits held the Trevians to a 16-16 tie going into the second quarter Friday night after a hard-fought eight minutes of aggressive play. After an offensive rampage by New Trier senior guard Sela Klein—who recently committed to continue her basketball career at Brown University—the Trevians lead 36-28 before the half.

We just needed to get to halftime,” head coach Brittanny Johnson said. “We thought that we could get together and figure out how we would modify our game plan to keep it close. For a minute it looked like the game was gonna get away from us.”

Yet the Kits reentered the gym with enough determination to turn the game around. By the end of the night, Evanston triumphed 79-68, trouncing the Trevians on their home court, with exceptional offensive performances from seniors Kailey Starks (28 pts), Zuri Ransom (19 pts) and Arianna Milam-Pryor (15 pts). 

With freshman Camille Calixte coming off the bench in the third quarter to add new defensive vigor to the Kits’ play, Evanston battled back to tie the game 38-38 within five minutes. The next play—a steal-to-basket run by senior Zuri Ransom—gave the Kits (12-14, 6-4 CSL) the lead that they would hold on to for the rest of the game. According to Johnson, a halftime speech was just what the team needed to reawaken their energy against the rival Trevians (15-13, 3-7 CSL).

“I told them they weren’t following the game plan,” said Johnson. “There were a lot of missed shots, not taking our time. I felt like New Trier was playing about as well as they could, and we hadn’t even reached 40 percent. When we got our 100 percent, we could come back.”

This speech affected the team’s gameplay and attitude, reflecting physically on the court. 

“We hate getting yelled at by Coach Johnson,” joked senior Zuri Ransom. “We kept her words in our head—not the tone, but the message that we can play better than this.” 

Evanston scored 27 points in the third quarter, while New Trier only posted nine. In the fourth quarter, the Kits’ 24 and the Trevians’ 23 brought both teams over the 60-point threshold, a feat seldom seen in high school basketball. The game was the highest scoring of the year for both teams.

With both an aggressive offense and on-point defense, including energetic blocking by Calixte, the kits managed to hold a lead for the entire fourth quarter, despite a growing Trevian student section. 

“When our freshman [Calixte] came in she gave us a ton of energy defensively,” said Starks. “[She] just got us going and we just turned up from there.”

The Kits’ second-half momentum continued unbroken, and both teams’ physical play drew aggression—and plenty of fouls. 

“Once we get started, it’s hard to contain us,” said Johnson. “I loved the way the game was officiated. They really let both teams play, and that was to our benefit as well.”

The game marked the Kits’ sixth conference victory, continuing a winning record in the Central Suburban League—something they’d had (and lost) earlier in the season and regained during their last match with Deerfield. 

“It was a little bit of a disappointment for us not to be able to be in the race to win conference,” said Johnson. “That was one of our goals. This is also a great conference. Well coached, solid players. Any time you can have a winning record, you can be successful.”

On Saturday, Feb. 3, the Kits host Whitney Young (21-5, 9-0, CPL) at 2 p.m., looking to earn a four-game win streak going into the playoffs. Though the Dolphins are a tough opponent, the team and Johnson are ready for the challenge.

“We’ve got a big game tomorrow,” said Johnson. “We can’t have the start that we had today. We’re just trying to take steps in the right direction. First half was definitely five steps back. We’ve gotta take 10-15 steps in the right direction.”

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Alexis Rogers, Sports Feature Editor
Eva Sondgeroth, Assistant Sports Editor
Katelyn Brownlee, Staff Writer
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