Tough stretch tests Providence

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Despite her team’s struggles with a 7-9 record entering Monday, Providence coach Eileen Copenhaver never has had to question one thing: effort.

“We’re getting good effort in practice and games,” Copenhaver said. “We just have to grow as a team. It’s believing we can do it.”

Sophomore Alyssa Jurges has been the Celtics’ most consistent scorer on a senior-laden team, averaging just over 10 points per game. Eight players average at least 3 points per game for Providence, with senior Alex Shermulis averaging 6 per contest.

“Our schedule is ridiculously tough,” Copenhaver said. “We’re trying to take one little challenge at a time. We’re not good enough to overlook anybody, so we play for the day and see what happens.”

Providence played Joliet West on Monday to continue a busy January that features 12 games on the schedule. With a 1-2 mark in the East Suburban Catholic, the Celtics still have to face Marian Catholic, Joliet Catholic, Benet and Marist over the coming month.

Dwight: Scoring needed

Heading into this week’s I-8 conference tournament, Dwight coach Jeff Froelich isn’t too demanding. He just wants some buckets to drop for the Lady Trojans.

“We’ve just had a lot of cold shooting in ballgames,” Froelich said. “Our shooting has been brutal, but we keep plugging on and hopefully, some of those two-footers start to fall.”

Lisa Bruner, Alyson Wiemken and Regina Dawson all have played well for Dwight, which has a 5-12 record through a win over Gardner-South Wilmington.

“We’re not getting a lot of scoring from the other girls,” Froelich said. “We need all five girls playing together.”

I-8 tournament opens Thursday

The Interstate-8 Conference Tournament opens Thursday and wraps up Jan. 17 at Wilmington, the site of the third-place and championship games.

Coal City (3) and Seneca (4) both earned byes with a top-four seed. Dwight hosts Manteno in the first round while fifth-seeded Peotone will welcome Reed-Custer at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

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