Wheaton Warrenville South guard Sierra Bisso missed all nine of her three-point attempts Thursday during a win over West Aurora, yet she still has the green light to shoot at will.
Now we know why.
Bisso sank eight three-pointers and scored a career-high 30 points to lead the No. 13 Tigers to a 72-56 victory over No. 20 Hillcrest on Saturday at the McDonald’s Shootout at Willowbrook. The 5-5 senior was 8-for-15 from beyond the arc and 11-for-21 overall.
“My shot wasn’t really working in our game against West Aurora Thursday,” Bisso said. “I was really paying attention to my shot before this [game]. I was doing flips and everything to make sure my shot was on point.
“We knew this was a big game. They’re a really good team and we just wanted to come out really well.”
While he didn’t anticipate Bisso being quite so prolific, WW South coach Rob Kroehnke wasn’t surprised at her performance. Though she had never before scored as many as 20 points in a game, Bisso has been a productive shooter.
“She struggled for one game, but even after that game, knowing what Hillcrest does, I knew she was going to have to hit some shots for us to be successful,” Kroehnke said. “So she was going to get her open looks and she buried them. That’s what she does.”
WW South star Meghan Waldron opened the game by sinking a three-pointer and after that Hillcrest (16-5) focused on taking her out of the game. Waldron didn’t score again in the first quarter, but the Hawks led only 18-17 because Bisso tallied 11 points, including three treys.
The Tigers (18-3) outscored the Hawks 20-13 in both the second and third quarters as Waldron heated up and got everybody involved in the offense. WW South used quick passing and good movement off the ball to break down the Hillcrest defense.
“We definitely talked about their defense,” said Bisso, who also had five steals and four rebounds. “We knew we had to keep moving the ball, we had to keep moving around and we made sure we did. Everybody worked really hard together.”
Waldron didn’t have the best shooting night, going 7-for-22 from the floor, but still finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Olivia Linebarger added eight points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Melinda Franke had five points, seven boards and two assists while guarding Hillcrest star Dana Gettis.
Gettis had a team-high 17 points but only one steal as the Tigers limited the number of transition baskets by the Hawks, who could never mount a major run. Instead it was the Tigers who broke the game open with an 11-0 run late in the third quarter that gave them a 53-38 lead.
“Overall, just a fantastic defensive effort in the second half,” Kroehnke said. “We defensive rebounded really well in the second half. We gave them a couple of second chances in the first half, but Melinda did a great job on Gettis [who] is just a fantastic player.
“We took care of the ball. We had a couple moments where we didn’t look real good taking care of it against their pressure but for the most part we handled their pressure and made good decisions.”
The Tigers outrebounded the Hawks 44-27, with Allie Zappia pulling down eight boards and 6-5 senior center Diamond Thompson grabbing seven in limited minutes.
“It’s a great feeling,” Bisso said. “They’re a great team and I was so excited for this game. I knew it would be a challenge for all of us.”
Mariam Awoniyi had 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals for Hillcrest but no other player scored more than five points.