Young does not lose very often. The Dolphins hardly ever lose at “The Pool.”
Saturday against visiting Trinity, Kiara Lewis scored 25 points and Katrina Beck had four 3-pointers as Young extended its home-court winning streak to 136 games with a 60-49 victory.
“I think every time we play that’s in the back of our minds,” Lewis said. “We can’t lose at home. We got to keep this streak going.”
Young (22-1) looked like it was going to make win No. 136 in a row a walk on the beach when it broke a 6-6 tie with 2:02 remaining in the first quarter with a 17-6 run. Beck’s third 3–pointer of the half had the lead at 26-16 before Trinity’s Annie McKenna made two free throws with no time remaining.
“We knew they were trying to come in here and take our streak down,” Beck said. “We weren’t going to let that happen. We have a legacy to uphold. I think it was important to set the tone early, just to make a statement, and also to give us some hope before they made their run.”
Trinity’s run came late in the third quarter. After Beck’s fourth 3-pointer gave Young a 33-20 lead two minutes into the second half, Trinity (20-3) went on an 11-2 run to pull within 35-31 on a basket by junior Kaitlyn Aylward with 1:27 left in the period.
“I think we did a great job on defense,” Aylward said. “Stopping them to 60 points is pretty good for us. We just have to work on hitting down shots and making free throws, especially me. I had to be more aggressive. I like to be in the paint more. Once I know I have the ball, I want to make sure I can score.”
After watching its lead trimmed to four, Young countered with a 9-3 burst of its own to rebuild a 10-point lead at 44-34 with less than seven minutes left in the game. Lewis buried a pair of 3-pointers as part of Young’s answer.
“I was hyped up for this game,” Lewis said. “I knew who we were playing. I knew the type of crowd we were possibly going to get. I just came out strong. My coaches always tell me to stop forcing stuff, so I just take my time and see what’s open. I just took what they gave me.”
Trinity closed to within 46-40 with 4:15 remaining on a long jumper by Aylward, but Young made seven of nine free throws in the final 3:45 to pull away.
Madinah Muhammad added 11 points for Young, which also got seven points and 12 rebounds from DePaul-bound Tanita Allen.
Aylward led Trinity with 22 points and 11 rebounds. McKenna added 12 points, and freshman Alisa Fallon had nine points.
The two teams could meet again in the sectional finals, which will be hosted by Young.
“Obviously, we wanted to come here and win,” Trinity coach Ed Stritzel said. “But our main goal was to make sure … a lot of teams come in here and they’re defeated before they walk in. I hope any objective person will see that Trinity gave them heck. I feel real good about it.”