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 Dec. 12-18.
Fremd 53, Kenwood 47
Lake Zurich 38, York 33
Libertyville 58, Glenbrook South 35
Hersey 69, St. Charles North 39
Carmel Catholic 43, Lincoln-Way Central 36
Barrington 50, Evanston 48
Butler College Prep 54, Rolling Meadows 53
Montini 55, Deerfield 49
Vernon Hills 51, Lake Park 46
Kenwood was up 15 at half when I arrived in the main gymnasium at Lake Zurich. I know that Missouri State commit Tasha Barnes (2023) had hit three 3’s and I was told that Kenwood was owning the glass.
I was also told by a coach essentially, “Dave Yates is going to get the Vikings right back in this one, just watch and see.”
That’s exactly what happened.
Kace Urlacher, an IUPUI women’s hoops signee, said that rebounding and mental toughness were keys in the halftime break.
Maddy Fay (a 2023 NIU recruit) picked up the slack on the boards on her way to 15 rebounds. Ella Todd(2025) and Ellie Thompson (2025) got the Vikings into good sets and made plays with the ball in their hands.
After Fremd cut its deficit to 4, Ariella Henigan scored a high-level shot off the glass to make it 39-33 going to the fourth.
Kace Urlacher (2023) helped take charge late in the third and into the fourth and younger sister Coco (2025) helped energize the Vikings with several big plays too.
“Overall, she’s probably going to be better than me,” Kace said of her. “So I’ve owned up to it, I’m okay with that. I want to push her…(not) tear her down. I feel like mentally she has to get over a hump sometimes and that’s what I try to help her out with.
Kenwood’s superstar freshman Danielle Brooks — the Class of 2026 guard was scoring a team-high 16.5 points per game while shooting 39% from 3-point land — hit two huge triples for a 47-45 Kenwood lead.
“A great kid that has a great love and affinity forth game,” Kenwood coach Andre Lewis said of Brooks. “She’s not afraid of the moment because of the amount of work she puts into her game.”
Fremd respond with scores on consecutive possessions for the Urlachers (Kace then Coco). Fremd led 51-47 and closed out the comeback, 53-47.
“We’re playing pretty good games, putting up 70-plus points so to have a close game like that, I think that shows how good we’ll be down the stretch,” Kace Urlacher said.
Kenwood later went on to beat Morgan Park, one of the City of Chicago’s better teams, 77-49.
Lewis was highly complementary of Fremd as a team.
“We allowed them to dictate tempo in the second half which is something we don’t normally allow,” Lewis said. “It’s one to grow on and something to get better at. Something for me to gripe about the next week.”
Montini won a fun, back-and-forth affair 55-49 vs. Deerfield in which guards Shannon Blacher and Victoria Matulevicius showed what makes them a special combo.
The duo combined for 41 points and 8 3-pointers, as Blacher continually made plays all over the floor. Matuleivicus was named player of the game, while Blacher shined with her all-around playmaking.
“It’s super fun because I just want to make people know Montini is a good program and we can pull out a big win like this and I’m glad people could see us do it,” Blacher said.
A future Northern Illinois Huskie, Blacher went on to lead the Broncos to a huge conference victory over Mother McAuley, 54-36.
“Shannon’s that everything player,” Montini coach Shannon Blacher said. “She does everything for you. She gets rebounds, she runs the offense, she makes big shots, she drives to the basket. Her doing all those little things, it opens up opportunities for everyone else.”
Defeated previously-undefeated Monmouth-Roseville 43-39 and West Central to move to 7-1.
Making its name known once more as Shannon Blacher and Victoria Matulevicius lead way to victories against Deerfield and Mother McAuley.
Olivia Corson scored 19 in a 47-27 win against undefeated Washington.
It’s between Galena, Okawville and Neoga as to who is the state’s best 1A team. Beat Rockford Christian and Potosi/Cassville of Wisconsin. Now 12-0.
Gracie Furlong had 16 points, 13 rebounds in a 51-43 win vs. Winnebago.
Sitting at 12-1 following wins over Rockford Christian and Pecatonica.
Now 12-0 and beat Richwoods, Moline and Knoxville last week. Could make a statement with a good performance against Naperville Central this week.
Dominated this week with wins ver Andrew, Oak Forest and Providence Catholic and sit at 10-2.
Strong showings in a 25-point win against Prospect and a a 34-point victory against Saint Viator. Rachel Kaus (Cornell commit) and Bella Ranallo impressing.
Beat Lockport, Lemont, Romeoville and Riverside-Brookfield to improve to 12-3.
Knocked off 1-loss Rochester, also beat Pana and Mattoon.
Up to 14-3, wins vs. Coal City, Hoopeston and Iroquois West, 2 of 3 by single digits.
Beat Casey-Westfied 49-31 and has a 10-1 record.
Victories against Julian, South Shore and Curie as the Panthers moved to 8-3.
9-0 after a win over Islamic Foundation.
Beat Rockford Auburn and Belvedere, both by single digits, to improve to 8-3.
Scored 48 points to help the Wildcats to their second win of the season, a victory against Streamwood.
Reached 1,000 points in a 37-point scoring effort vs. South Fulton.
Congratulations to Midwest Central’s @CoraDesutter as she has reached and surpassed 1000 career points with her 37 point outburst against South Fulton…. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/CRbgxWpOXx— Dr. Curley Boo Johnson (@BooCurley) December 18, 2022
Scored 30 to help her team defeat Downers Grove South 73-31.
Posted 30 points in 3 quarters vs. Johnston City in a 66-50 win.
Stacked up 26 points, 11 rebounds in a win over Fenton.
Had 30 points, 16 rebounds in a 77-49 win over Morgan Park.
Scored 25 in a victory over Springfield Southeast.
Knocked down 8 3-pointers and had 28 points in a win over Westville.
Scored 29 in a 3-point win over Newark.
Scored 30 with 16 rebounds in a 5-point win over Plainfield East.
Hit 8 3-pointers, 24 points in a 64-54 win over Marist. Second time this season she has knocked down 8 triples.
Totaled a stat line of 21/19/4/3.
#HungryHobo11 Player of the Game:— Terry Duckett (@TDuckett_DA) December 16, 2022
-- United Township junior forward Lorena Awou
The 6-foot-5 standout finished with a double-double of 21 points and 19 rebounds to go with 4 blocked shots and 3 steals
Had 27 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists in a 67-51 win over Wesclin.
The Cornell-bound forward scored 21 with 13 rebounds and 7 assists in a win over St. Viator.
Scored 24 in a Monmouth-United tourney win against West Central.
Totaled 29 points 7 3-pointers in a loss to Butler College Prep.
Put up 38 of her team’s 43 points in a loss to Ridgewood.
Had 23 points, 8 rebounds, 8 steals and 2 assists in a win over Amundsen.
Had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists in a win over Kaneland.
Hit 6 3-pointers, had 24 points vs. West Hancock.
Dropped 30 points in leading her team to victory vs. Midwest Central.
28 points and 6 steals in a tight, 50-47 win over Hillcrest.
Had 23 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists against Wheaton-Warrenville South.
Scored 29 in a tight loss to Marist.