The Leyden girls basketball team won its first game this season in just three games. The Eagles had to wait much longer for their first win last season, which didn’t come until the postseason.
New coach Drewann Pancratz knows she has a long rebuilding project ahead. “Rebuilding” actually implies that the program has had some success in the past, but Leyden’s only regional titles have come in 1997 and 1981.
Stories about Pancratz’s hiring in May: Pioneerlocal.com Daily Herald
Pancratz’s first career win was a 48-42 victory over Northside Nov. 20 in the Fenton-Addison Trail Thanksgiving tournament. Leyden (1-3) lost its next game, 48-36 to Lane on Wednesday, and doesn’t play again until Dec. 1 at Downers Grove South to open the West Suburban Gold season.
After her first win, Pancratz emailed some comments on the game:
Last night was a great team win for us! I thought our defensive effort was tremendous, which allowed to get an early lead. We maintained a solid ten point lead the majority of the first half. Our defense was lead by sophomore Alondra Chavarria. Northside Prep made a run against us in the second half which got them within two. I thought our girls did an excellent job keeping their composure and taking care of the basketball. Senior Kara Urbanik made some huge baskets in the fourth quarter and Senior Stephanie Muralles had back to back defensive stops to help maintain our lead. Offensively we were lead by Alondra Chaviarra with 16 points (collecting her first career double-double) No matter what number win it is, winning is always a great feeling. Last night I was just extremely proud of our girls ability to rise up to the challenge and put forth their best effort. Seeing the improvements they have already made within the first three weeks is the kinds of things that make me, as a coach, happy. As for the coaches that have been in the program the past couple of years, they were extremely happy and proud of these girls because they know how hard they work day-in and day-out. Overall, it was a great win for our team and hopefully we can build from this.
Pancratz was a young girl when her older brothers Mark and Zach helped bring a state championship to Schaumburg in 2001. I was hired by Pioneer Press during the last month of the season and was assigned to cover the Saxons during their playoff run. I never even saw Schaumburg play during the regular season. My first game I covered was during the playoffs.
Drewann, the youngest of the four Pancratz children to play for Schaumburg, made her coaching debut Nov. 13 with a loss to Fenton nearly five months after graduating from college. He family came to her second game against Addison Trail Nov. 17.
The years have flown by. Drewann’s parents, Andy and Jeanette Pancratz, are now grandparents. Their oldest, Mark, and his wife gave birth to a daughter in 2010. Now Andy and Jeanette have become Leyden fans.