Girls basketball: Downers Grove North freshman Campbell Thulin shines at both ends in crosstown win

Thulin scores career-high 15 points, holds Downers Grove South star to two baskets in 43-25 win

Downers Grove North's Campbell Thulin (5) defends Downers Grove South's Allison Jarvis (14) during girls basketball game between Downers Grove South at Downers Grove North. Dec 16, 2023.

DOWNERS GROVE – Downers Grove North senior forward Lilly Boor had some advice for freshman guard Campbell Thulin heading into the home game Dec. 16 against crosstown rival Downers Grove South.

“We kind of told her that they always come out hard,” Boor said. “They want to get us. We want to get them. It’s always a very intense game, so (we) just keep our head level and do what we do best and play defense. I think she did a great job of that and the whole team did a great job.”

The 5-foot-10 Thulin played with the savvy of an upperclassman. Downers North coach Stephan Bolt gave her the assignment of guarding Downers South senior Allison Jarvis and the results were impressive.

Not only did Thulin hold Jarvis to two baskets, but she also led all scorers with a career-high 15 points as the Trojans rolled to a 43-25 victory. Boor added 12 points and senior guard Hope Sebek tallied 10 points for North (11-2).

“I think she played great,” Boor said of Thulin. “She came out aggressive and she was tasked with guarding the girl who averages the highest points on their team, Jarvis, and she did a great job of being all up in her business and frustrating her.”

Jarvis finished with six points on 2-for-11 shooting. The second basket was a 3-pointer with 1:58 left in the game, at which point the Mustangs (6-7) trailed by 20. Jarvis had scored 30 points the night before in a double overtime loss to Willowbrook.

“I took it as just a normal thing,” Thulin said of her defensive assignment. “I have to play my defense. Our team had to be there in the help and help if I got beat and it was just a team effort. If one person gets beat, then our teammates have to back them up.”

Downers Grove North's Abby Gross (11) puts up a shot during girls basketball game between Downers Grove South at Downers Grove North. Dec 16, 2023.

Bolt was impressed with the play of Campbell and junior guard Abby Gross, who were effective on the perimeter at disrupting South’s offense.

“Jarvis is a good player and I think Campbell really did a nice job tonight,” Bolt said. “We went through a little bit of a drought in the third and fourth quarter, but defensively we were solid. Kind of did what we do – great defense and share the ball.”

Defense is what the Trojans traditionally hang their hat on and this year has been no exception. It’s why they didn’t panic despite struggling at the beginning against the Mustangs.

North shot 1-for-13 in the first quarter but led 8-4 as Boor scored six points, including four straight free throws and then a putback of a Thulin miss that gave the Trojans the lead for good.

That was part of a run of 12 straight points that Sebek capped with a 3-pointer off a Gross assist. The lead eventually grew to 21-2 and a Thulin free throw put the advantage at 22-6 late in the second quarter.

The Trojans did much of their damage at the foul line, where they made 11 of 14 in the first half and 15 of 20 overall. Boor led the way by making 6 of 8 attempts, including her final five.

“When we’re not getting shots up or our shots aren’t falling, it’s really important to get to the rim,” Boor said. “I think everybody did a good job getting to the rim and drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line. We have to be able to drive and get to the middle.”

Hayden Harden and Megan Ganschow each scored eight points to lead South, which pulled to within 24-11 on a Harden drive at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter.

Downers Grove North's Lilly Boor (22) blocks out Downers Grove South's Allison Jarvis (14) at the free throw line during girls basketball game between Downers Grove South at Downers Grove North. Dec 16, 2023.

But Thulin erupted to score seven consecutive points on a three-point play, a free throw and the first of her two 3-pointers. She also finished with four rebounds and a game-high three steals

“She’s the first one to get on the floor, gives max effort every time she’s out there,” Bolt said. “She has a high-level IQ already as a freshman and she has some composure and poise like an upperclassman, so it will be exciting to coach her for another three years after this one. She could be a real nice player.”

Thulin already is having a nice time playing on varsity.

“It’s fun just having the team be supportive of me, inclusive and welcoming me,” Thulin said. “It means a lot to come in as a freshman and have a team that’s there for you and willing to help you get better.”