Juniors Treanna Perry and Kailey Foster are in their third seasons on the Joliet West varsity.
They are leaders.
“We knew we would pick it up when they started going,” West coach Kevin Michaels said Thursday after the duo combined for 22 of their 27 points in the second half of a 54-47 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory at Joliet Central.
The Steelmen (3-12, 0-4) led 18-17 at halftime and 38-36 after three quarters. But late in the third quarter, West’s full-court press, keyed by Perry, began to take hold.
By the time the Tigers completed a 19-2 run they were up 50-40 midway through the fourth quarter. West (5-8, 2-2) forced 17 turnovers in the second half, 29 in all.
“We kind of got out of our game in the second quarter,” said Foster, who scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half. “Coach gave us a good talk at halftime. We got into our press, got some movement and that’s what we needed to wake up.”
Perry finished with 10 points, eight in the second half, plus a handful of steals and seven rebounds.
“Treanna is our best on-the-ball defender,” Michaels said. “When she turns the girl she is guarding, then we trap from the back side.”
West freshman point guard Monica Barefield scored eight of her 11 points in the fourth quarter before leaving with her right shoulder packed in ice.
“She’s been having a shoulder problem the whole year,” Michaels said. “It just starts flaring up, which it did tonight.”
The Tigers missed the inside presence of 5-foot-10 senior Vicky Orasco, who has been sick. Central was hampered as well. Senior guard Bernacia Fox, one of the Steelmen’s primary ballhandlers and best all-around players, was out with a knee injury, and 5-11 freshman forward Chantell Mack also was out from an injury suffered during a Christmas tournament.
“We had key players injured and had some foul trouble, but that’s no excuse,” Central coach Brian Reed said. “You have to be ready when your number is called.
“We lost our composure for about two minutes and that hurt us.
“But the girls gave good effort for four quarters. I am proud of them for that.”
Chavon Banks and Jautece McNear scored 11 points each for Central. Banks’ 13 rebounds and Gina Ramirez’s nine helped Central to a 47-41 advantage.