Oak Lawn finds form, powers past Reavis

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A six-point first quarter is no way to start a title-clinching party.

Words weren’t minced among the Oak Lawn starters who went back out on the court in Tuesday night’s South Suburban Red contest against host Reavis.

“We said it was embarrassing for us to only score six points,” Spartans point guard Brooke Annerino said. “That’s not like us. We knew we had to pick it up.”

They looked like champions the rest of the way, steadily pulling away to a 47-28 victory.

LaTondra Brooks had 13 points, Jannah Mahmoud 12, Annerino 11 and Brianna Markusic seven points and eight rebounds as Oak Lawn (21-1, 10-1) put a lock on the Red crown. Katelyn LoRusso had 14 points and Paulina Gal 11 rebounds for Reavis (14-9, 7-4).

The Rams, having their best season in several, were able to stay with Oak Lawn via a hounding man-to-man defense that caused 10 turnovers in the first period alone. They didn’t cash in on the offensive end, however, shooting just 1-of-9 from the field.

Reavis went in front 7-6 early in the second period on a three-pointer by LoRusso, who connected again later from beyond the arc to get the Rams to within 16-15.

Oak Lawn closed the first half strong, however, as Mahmoud and Annerino went back to back to make it 20-15.

Annerino opened the second half with a running bank-in, and then, in a remarkable turnaround from the first 10 minutes, the Spartans were just about unstoppable.

Brooks, quiet in the first half, drove for a layup and scored again on a feed from Annerino. Books then fed Mahmoud for a fadeaway bank-in.

Oak Lawn went on to score on 10-of-11 possessions. When the smoke cleared, it was 38-19.

Game over.

“We’ve been having good first quarters, but Reavis forced us to make some changes offensively,” Spartans coach Janet Meyers said. “We weren’t scoring in transition as much as we’d like.

“We really talked about it at the half about controlling the boards and getting the quick outlet. I thought we did a good job in the second half.”

The Rams? They didn’t finish, but they did come ready to play.

“They always come ready to play,” Reavis coach Art Gamino said. “You can never take that away from them. They work so hard, they give it their all.

“After that (first quarter) we wanted to do the same thing. But turnovers, and a bad selection of shots hurt. (Oak Lawn’s) defense stepped it up. They’re a very good team.”

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