Each week, I’ll be highlighting the best team and individual performances from around the state that stood out in girls basketball. It could be a state record, an amazing highlight or anything in between. Last season, I tended to base the top performers on stats from several games over the course of a week. For this season’s individual honorees I’ll be focusing on individual game performances. This will hopefully help me recognize more players and spend less time searching for statistics.
As far as teams go, I want to highlight squads that upset highly-respected foes, put up absurd statistical performances or set new program records, things of that nature, over the course of the week, which will be focused on results over a week and not just in one game.
Stats are critical to highlight these players and teams. Get in touch to submit a girls team or player at any point during the 2022-2023 season. You can submit stats to our Twitter, @ILL_HS_Hoops and @ill_hoop_scoops. I can also be reached at KalebCarter4256@gmail.com or on Twitter @Kaleb_M_Carter.
Editor’s note: Not every submission is included in the top performers. Choices made at KC’s discretion. Games eligible to be considered for top performers were played Nov. 21-27.
Notable Week 2 Team Performances
Paige Engels is in control and with that in mind, it may make sense why a Loyola Academy team with youngsters at multiple key spots is thriving to start the season.
At 4-0 after a 36-26 win over rivals New Trier on Wednesday, the Ramblers are looking ahead at some upcoming games that should continue to test them.
Engels, who possessed the ball when things needed to get in order, scored early buckets as Loyola Academy took the lead that it held onto all game against the Trevians. But where Engels and the Ramblers continue to succeed is in owning the pace of the game, maintaining patience and absolutely stifling opponents with whatever zone, man or press look they trot out on defense.
“It’s always intense at the end, we know we’ve got to keep getting stops and trying to put the ball in the basket,” Engels said. “It’s a lot of fun at the end when they’re close. It keeps us really invested in the game throughout.”
At one point in the fourth wth the Trevians within 6, Engels swiped away the ball from a Trevians player, quickly found freshman teammate Clare Weasler for a tear drop floater and a 31-23 Ramblers advantage.
Grace Bronski was critical with 13 points in the New Trier win, making the timely plays needed.
The Ramblers have gotten contributions from all over the place, notably so in a 44-42 win over defending state champions Stevenson. The Ramblers also defeated the Patriots early last season, a loss that Stevenson later avenged in a super-sectional victory.
“It was nice to win that game, but we can hang with a lot of people in the state of Illinois,” Ramblers coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. “For such a young group to prove they can win that type of game, (Emory) Klatt is an absolute monster on the glass and I thought it showed our young kids if we keep grinding for 32 minutes, usually good things happen.”
An upcoming test at home against Montini on Dec. 7 should be a fun glimpse into a postseason-like atmosphere for both team.
“Last year after getting all the way to the super-sectional, we knew what we needed to get there,” Loyola Academy’s Kelsey Langston said. “Only having 3 returners, we took that as we need to do everything to be able to get back there.”
Class of 2023 Indiana commit Lenee Beaumont looked the part of a prospective state Player of The Year in a 61-44 home win over Carmel Catholic, a top 5 matchup in the state per our rankings here at Illinois-Basketball.com
“Last year they gave us some trouble throughout the year,” Beaumont said. “They have Jordan Wood. I’m a very good friend of hers, she’s a great player. Every game they’re going to be ready, they’re very well coached. They’re always prepared… Coach (Joe) Kilbride said before the game it’s not really any strategy we’ve got to go by, we’ve just go to go out there and be “dawgs” is what he says. It’s who wants to play harder, who wants to.. do the things to win.”
From the tip, Beaumont was visibly locked in. She hit a hanging jumper in the lane, one of several of those buckets she tossed in during the game. Senior forward Samantha Trimberger made early plays playing off the attention Carmel paid Beaumont.
“She’s done a fantastic job offensively and defensively,” Beaumont said of Trimberger. “Obviously with the loss of (Morgan) Demos that’s a huge refunding and scoring loss we had but she’s been killing t this year. It’s awesome to see her. Every year she has a new role and she’s doing awesome at stepping into it.”
The junior super guard came off a screen and knocked down a 3-pointer as Wood, a senior Michigan State commit, looked at her coach (Ben Berg) and seemingly asked, “what do I do on that?”
Later in the half, while sitting in the stands and watching another absurd Beaumont finish around the rim, an observer just began laughing at how easy the Redwing star had made a difficult play look.He wasn’t the only one with similar reactions. Making such plays has come from a more focused effort to have body control in the paint.
“Coming with patience, change of speed type of thing, last year if someone got to me full-court, I probably would have had a few more turnovers,” Beaumont said. “But this year I also worked on my balance, strength that the of stuff so I feel like all the stuff is coming together.”
The Redwings actually sustained their first loss of the season several days later, when Beaumont did not play due to illness against Naperville Central and top Illinois player in the class of 2026, Trinity Jones. Emilia Sularski stepped up with 27 points and 8 three-pointers in the loss. For more on that, find details on Jones below in the top individuals section.
Defeated Barrington, led by a combined 50 points from seniors Katy Eidle and Natalie Alesia.
Alayna Kraus is averaging 18 points and 2.8 steals per game as Okawville won the Nashville tourney and moved to 4-0.
Went 5-0 at its home tournament to win the title. Carson Belangee, Desirae Dockery, Sydney Downen and Kaelee Karcher were all-tournament.
Now 5-0 and won Newton’s tournament title after beating Effingham 52-50, Newton 50-46 and Flora 50-46.
Now 5-0 after winning the Vernon Hills Thanksgiving tourney, Rachel Kaus scored 17 with 9 rebounds and 4 assists in the 59-32 title game victory over Vernon Hills.
Out to a 6-0 start, scored 81 points vs. Robinson, also defeated Fairfield, Marshall and Mt. Carmel this past week.
Defeated Mother McAuley (55-51) and Columbus East (IN). Persais Williams emerging as a strong performer for the Raiders.
Took it to a good Pana team, 61-28 and is now 5-0. Has scored at least 61 points in each of its last 4 games.
Won the Dakota tourney with a 53-41 victory over River Ridge/Scales Mound. Also beat Aquin Catholic, Dakota and Pearl City during the week.
Claimed the Brimfield Turkey Championship with a 42-33 victory over Brimfield.
They’re 5-0, with wins over Breese Central (45-39) and Alton Marquette (56-23).
Lombard College Prep
Won their first game since 2017, defeating Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park, 44-18.
Moved to 4-0 with wins against Urbana University (50-14) and Tri County (44-43).
Notable Week 2 Individual Performances
Trinity Jones, Naperville Central, Fr.
Scored 23 points with 14 rebounds, 6 assists as Naperville Central defeated Benet Academy.
Caitlin Washington, Neuqua Valley, Jr.
Posted 29 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals as the Wildcats defeated Sandburg 74-65.
Emory Klatt, Stevenson, Jr.
Posted 34 points, school-record 23 rebounds in a 54-26 victory against Phillips.
Carly Foster, Gallatin County, Sr.
Scored 33 in a 45-32 win over Wayne City.
Janae Kent, Oak Forest, Sr.
Posted a robust stat line of 37 points, 7 made three-pointers and 12 rebounds as the Bengals defeated Chicago Christian.
Kate Rule, Libertyville Jr.
Netted 24 points as the Wildcats handed Barrington its first loss, 63-61.
Xamiya Walton, Butler College Prep, Jr.
31 points, 5 assists, 5 steals and 4 rebounds in a loss to Pattonville (MO.).
Denver Anderson, Mt. Zion, Jr.
2 triple doubles during the week, including 22 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists in one game.
Heidi Rathmann, Antioch, Fr.
Scored 42 points in a win over Lake Forest Academy.
LaKeeyah Barnes, Morgan Park, Jr.
Scored 36 on 13-of-18 shooting in a win over Perspectives/Leadership, including 5-of-5 on three-pointers. Added 4 steals.
Aaliyah Guyton, Peoria, Jr.
26 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists as the Lions beat Eisenhower 100-27.
Lenee Beaumont, Benet, Sr.
26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals as the Redwings bested Carmel Catholic by 17.
Abbey Schreacke, Quincy Notre Dame, Sr.
35 points in a comeback home win over Butler College Prep.
Kaitlyn Hoffing, Fenton, Sr.
Hit 7 3-pointers in a half, scored 26, with 5 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists vs. Parkview Christian.
Mya Wardle, Peoria Notre Dame, Jr.
Posted 30 points, 10 assists in an 81-37 win vs. United Township.
Cami Hurt, Routt Catholic
Scored 31 in a win over Pittsfield.
Kameron Adams, Harrisburg, Jr.
26 points in a win over Frankfort.
Emily Maple, Mattoon, Jr.
23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists vs. Pana.
Lauren Miller, Trinity, Jr.
31 points, 14 rebounds as the Blazers beat Rosary 54-36.
Jadea Johnson, Romeoville, Jr.
21 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals, 4 assists in one game.