With seniors Courtney Toth and Kelsey Motto and junior Kim Jerantowski, Lemont coach Bill Bozue was confident his Indians would be able to score some points this season.
The three-headed scoring option took a hit in early December when Motto was lost for the season with a dislocated right kneecap. The Indians were forced to improvise on the fly, but Bozue has seen his team rise to the challenge.
“Everyone has stepped up a little bit, especially Courtney and Kim,” Bozue said. “Without Kelsey’s consistent scoring threat, it takes away that double-digit scorer every game. We’ve had to have different people step up each night.”
With Toth (10 points per game) and Jerantowski (9 points) leading the way, other players have stepped up into more involved roles. Nicole Krol has had several big scoring nights for Lemont, while freshman Madeline Vermejan has made a smooth transition to the varsity level from grammar school.
“For a freshman, Maddie is doing very, very well,” Bozue said.
The Indians have hit a rough patch of late. They gave South Suburban front-runner Hillcrest a game for a half before struggling, and they lost a heartbreaker in the closing seconds at Tinley Park. Lemont (13-12, 7-5) wraps up the regular season Thursday against visiting T.F. North before heading into the Class 4A state playoffs next weekend.
Playing in the Oswego Sectional as a 14-seed, Lemont opens the playoffs in its own regional, playing Plainfield South in a quarterfinal match. The winner will play Romeoville in the semifinals.
“We need to take care of the ball and make each possession count offensively and defensively,” Bozue said. “We try to do too much sometimes. It’s one thing at a time. Do what’s in front of you right now.”
Southwest Prairie on the line
Having split their two previous games, Romeoville and Plainfield East will face off for a third time with the Southwest Prairie title on the line. Should Romeoville win Thursday’s match-up, the Spartans win the conference outright. If East claims the road win, the two teams would tie for the title.