October 02, 2022
Girls Basketball

JCA rains threes on Lincoln-Way West

Angels hit 14 from beyond arc, advance to sectional

NEW LENOX – It was one of the most anticipated match-ups in girls basketball for the Joliet area this season.

Lincoln-Way West, the No.1 seed, and Joliet Catholic, the No. 3 seed, met for the Class 3A Providence regional title. However, it was all one-sided.

JCA (19-8)  dominated the Warriors from the inside out and hit 14 3-pointers in coasting to a 95-59 victory.

"Our plan was to go inside with our height advantage and then feed the ball to our shooters," Andriana Acosta said.

Acosta was a physical presence early as the Angels established the inside game from the tip.

West jumped out to a 4-0 lead on layups by Dani Morgan (12 points) and Courtney O'Donnell (18), but the Angels scored eight consecutive points on the inside play of Acosta, Ty Battle and Jnaya Walker.

"Each time we scored, we knew our height on the press would bother them," Walker said. "They were really bothered by that early."

'We knew we had the height advantage," said Battle, who scored 14 points. "We were aggressive on both ends of the floor, especially with rebounding and blocking shots."

That inside play lead to four 3-pointers in a two-minute span as the Angels took a 28-14 lead after the first quarter. Kennedy Weigt hit three of the bombs and ended with 24 points, hitting eight 3-pointers in all.

"When I go in the game, I'm going to shoot.," Weigt said. "I was really surprised they didn't come out and guard me right away. I was open and all of us were hitting our shots, I couldn't believe they stayed in the zone. We were passing the ball well to get good looks at shots."

JCA opened the second quarter with two long threes from Kaitlyn Williams and another by Nicole Ekhomu (14 points) to take a 39-14 lead. The rout was on.

The Angels doubled up the Warriors in the quarter and took a 52-26 halftime lead.

West (24-2) showed some life early in the third quarter, scoring nine quick points. But all that seemed to do was wake up the Angels as they outscored the Warriors, 36-14, in the quarter and take an 88-40 lead to the final quarter.

Guard Mia Farrell (20 points) hit two threes and was all over the floor during the third-quarter onslaught.

"There was nothing that we didn't expect tonight," Angels coach Kenny Battle said. "Our regular-season schedule is tough. We prepare for the playoffs. This team isn't surprised anymore. They are on a mission to get back to state and finish the job."

JCA finished second in Class 3A last season.

"When they shoot like they did and with their size it really makes it tough," West coach Ryan White said.

"They were the first team all season to speed us up. When they do that, with their athleticism, it makes it almost impossible to stop."

JCA will travel to Coal City on Monday for a sectional semifinal game against Oak Forest, the Rich Central Regional winner.