Tag Archives: Girls Basketball

Benet’s Morgan Demos, A Navy Commit, Has Demeanor For Service

Benet's Morgan Demos, a Navy Recruit, Has Demeanor for Service

In summing up Benet Academy senior forward Morgan Demos, coach Joe Kilbride called Demos “high-caliber, high-character.”

He noted that Demos is one of the only players he’s ever coached where opposing team’s parents will reach out to compliment Demos’ demeanor. 

“She’ll go and fist-bump the kid that was beating the hell out of her all game,” Kilbride said. 

Those are the types of attributes that lend themselves to a high-potential future at the Naval Academy, where Demos, a 6-2 standout, verbally committed on Friday, July 30. 

Demos talked on and off with Navy’s coaches for over a year and creating a rolling list of her top 10 programs with Kilbride. She widened Navy’s eyes further with strong play with IL Lady Lightning this July.

After a trip to Annapolis while at a Nike event, things fell in line. She said everything about the trip and the campus enthralled her. 

“Everything about that trip felt right,” Demos said. “I met some of the players on the team. I saw the court. I saw what they had to offer with the campus.

“Currently, they’re in their plebe summer,” she continued. “So all of the incoming freshmen have to do this six-week boot camp, and so we got to see some of them in action while they were doing it. You get to see in-person what you have to go through when you go there, and I was all for it.”

Demos’ sister Madison, a Benet graduate that Morgan saw some time on the floor with, is in a service academy basketball program, playing for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. 

As the younger sister, Morgan learned quickly to soak in the information Madison was sharing at home during her own recruiting process and in talking about her time with the school.

“I would hear what she’s going through absentmindedly and I would (take) it in,” Morgan Demos said. “When I was thinking about college, I would ask a question and she would give me all the information about it, like what you can do when you’re serving after college, what you experience, you don’t have to force yourself. She was very supportive, ‘If it’s not your thing, don’t do it, you’re going to know though.’”

Demos had her sister to battle against growing up, and things got even more challenging when joined Benet Academy. She consistently found herself competing against bigger, more experienced players despite playing competitive travel ball herself. Though she’s now a Division I commit, Morgan Demos was not a starter as a freshman. 

Kilbride noted that right from the outset of her varsity career, she sat behind and battled fellow post player Ashley Konkle every day. Kilbride said that Konkle, now at Western Michigan, was understandably stronger and more physical than Demos, who he said now is strong like “a horse in the post.”

“She’s just a very responsible, hard-working, focused (player),” Kilbride said. “The colleges love the fact that she’s … a worker. She’s gotten better every year really since fifth grade. She’s gotten better every year at Benet. She’s one of those kids who’s going to keep getting better in college, and that’s important to them. They want kids where we’re not looking at their ceiling, we’re looking at where they’re starting from.”

Competing against the likes of Konkle and 2021 graduate Kendall Moriarty (now at Nebraska) helped Demos learn to adapt on the court. As Kilbride has told his players plenty of times, “Champions adjust.”

“I learned there’s different types of games for each player, and I adjusted to each type, so it was very beneficial,” Demos said. “In the post, Ashley Konkle, was a lot stronger than I was, so I had to learn to battle with that strength. She taught me very good habits that I have today.”

And while the effects have COVID-19 hindered recruiting for class of 2022 players, Kilbride felt that Demos was the type of player who was particularly affected by  colleges’ inability to see her play in-person in the summer of 2020 and this past winter. 

“She’s incredibly strong,” Kilbride said. “I’ve told coaches, ‘You can put her in a Division I practice right now and she’s not going to get broken or beaten up.’ She’s going to hold her own.”

“She’d have games where she only scored 8 points, but she got double-teamed on every catch,” Kilbride said. “So she’s creating wide-open shots for teammates on kickouts and dives and stuff. She’d have 10 rebounds and 5 blocks and she’d dominate the game having single-digit scoring.”

Benet heads into the coming school year with talent in waves. Class of 2023 guard Lenee Beaumont comes back on the heels of a summer that has yielded her over 20 college offers. Demos said Margaret Temple is a good shooter on a team full of them. Others like Emma Webb and several other underclassmen guards have given the Hawks reason to be excited. 

“We have new players and I’m excited to help them get the handle of the ropes and everything,” Demos said. “Everyone has put in so much effort when I played with them in June.”

Demos also had a parting message about the recruiting process, which has been extra stressful for many since the pandemic began. 

“Whoever has committed or hasn’t committed, they should just enjoy the process as they’re going along with it because COVID,” Demos said. “It was a bit unfortunate because it slowed the process down, but everything will work out.”

Girls Underclassmen to Watch: Big Northern Conference

With the shortened 2020-21 hoops season in the books, Illinois-Basketball.com is on a mission this offseason to make note of some of the best returning players in the state.

We’ve been tracking all-conference honors and other awards since the season ended, and have reached out to every coach in the conference for statistics and other info.

Below are the top-performing underclassmen from the Big Northern Conference.

ELLA GOVIG | DIXON

FORWARD | So. | 5-11

10.1 PPG | 7.8 RPG | 1.5 APG | 1.1 BPG 

  • Second team all-BNC
  • Sauk Valley media honorable mention all-area
  • Eight double-doubles in sophomore season

AWARDS

COACH'S COMMENTS

“Ella is a gifted post scorer and finisher but is also incredibly smart and plays with amazing heart, competes hard on every play. Even as a sophomore she was a tremendous leader for us and brought energy to everything she did, and she did that while guarding everyone’s top option in the post. Had big scoring games in several big wins, including at Byron (17) and vs Bago (12).” – Luke Ravlin

AVA KULTGEN | BYRON

WING | So.

CAMPBELL SCHRANK | WINNEBAGO

GUARD | So. | 5-9

AWARDS

ELLA GRUNDSTROM | BYRON

GUARD | So.

AWARDS

SYDNEY CARLSON | ROCKFORD LUTHERAN

So.

  • Honorable mention All-BNC

AWARDS

HADLEY LUTZ | OREGON

WING | So.

10.3 PPG | 4.9 RPG  | 2.6 APG | 1.9 SPG

AWARDS

COURTNEY PARK | ROCKFORD CHRISTIAN

FORWARD | So. | 5-11

7.2 PPG | 5.1 RPG | 1.2 BPG | 1.1 SPG

  • Honorable mention All-BNC
  • Shot 53-of-112 from the field (47.3%)

AWARDS

KAITLYN PARK | ROCKFORD CHRISTIAN

FORWARD | Fr.

7.4 PPG | 3.3 RPG | 1.2 SPG

  • Team-high 18 3-pointers on 36.7% shooting

Illinois High School Basketball Top Performers: Feb. 15-21

Illinois High School Basketball Players Honored

Illinois-Basketball.com sends emails to the vast majority of coaches in the state of Illinois looking for the some of the top performances from players in the state.

An email was sent to every coach with an email listed on the IHSA website. Any emails omitted can be pointed out to the writer at kalebcarter4256@gmail.com to be added to our database.

We’ve identified nearly 50 deserving athletes between boys and girls basketball. We’ve also included a list of milestones and accomplishments from the past week. Click here to see the top performers from Week 2.

Illinois Girls Player of the Week Nominees

  • Lexie Sinclair, Bartlett (4A): Sinclair put together an unconventional triple-double with a 16-point, 11 assist, 12-steal game in a win over South Elgin; Scored 16 points against Streamwood, 18 vs. Elgin, and 20 against Neuqua Valley, all victories; Also, MacKenzie Hare put up scoring totals of 32, 39, 29 and 24.
  • Trinity Wade, Shelbyville (2A): Scored 44 points in a win over Cerro Gordo/Bement, a school record.
  • Emily White, Sullivan (2A): Scored a career-high 35, had 13 rebounds and shot 7 of 9 on 3-point attempts as Sullivan beat state top 10-ranked Clinton.
  • Gracen Haska, Fenton (3A): The freshman recorded 17 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in the Bison’s first win of the season; Also, Sophia Haska: scored 13 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and had 3 blocks in a win over East Aurora.
  • Tyler Butler, Belleville East (4A): The senior forward keeps stacking up double-doubles. Butler had 19 points and 19 rebounds in a 49-47 loss to Belleville West Thursday; Scored 20 points and plucked 9 rebounds off the glass in a 54-46 win over Collinsville; Butler as of Sunday was averaging 19 ppg and 15.8 rpg through five contests.
  • Apple Guerrero, Argo (4A): Averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds during the week, shooting 48% from the floor with 11 total assists and 12 steals.
  • Thaya Luse, Aurora Christian (1A): Posted 29 points, 16 rebounds in a win over Rosary on Monday, Feb. 15; Tallied 21 points, 18 rebounds, 7 assists and 8 steals in a win over Elmwood Park Thursday. Had 6 consecutive double-doubles as of Sunday.
  • Tyrah Taylor, Hope Academy (Chicago) (1A): Had 17 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals in 79-7 win over Rochelle Zell on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
  • Kamryn Sturdy, Tri-City/Sangamon Valley (2A): Freshman had 17 points, 3 assists and 3 steals in a win over rival Riverton; Also, sophomore Sarah Finley averaged 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks in games against South Fork and Riverton, while shooting 13 of 24 (54%).
  • Riley Mount, West Aurora (4A): In three games, averaged 26 pppg, 8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 4 spg; Averaging 26 ppg this season overall.
  • Natalie Iberg, Greenville (2A): 23 points, and five 3-pointers in a win over Vandalia on Friday.
  • Jase Burkett, Woodlawn (1A): Freshman sank four 3-pointers and scored 14 points to lead Woodlawn back from a 9-point deficit to beat Goreville 42-40 Saturday.
  • Sophia Harris, Putnam County (1A): Scored 24 points, added 12 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks in a 57-35 win over Dwight Saturday; Had 11 points and 13 rebounds Thursday against Marquette; put up 14 points, 9 rebounds against Roanoke-Benson Wednesday, Feb. 17.
  • Laura Strenk, Regina Dominican (2A): 15 points, 6 assists, 3 steals and a charge in a loss.
  • Claire McDougall, Washington (3A): Posted two double-doubles, averaged 14 ppg and 10.5 rpg over two games against Pekin.
  • Tiffany Bargmann, LeRoy (1A): Bargmann scored 17 points, had 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks in a 64-27 win at Flanagan on Monday, Feb. 15; Scored 19 points, added 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists in a 38-33 win over Lexington on Thursday, Feb. 18; Set school single-game block record with 8, adding 17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in a 44-41 overtime win over El Paso-Gridley on Saturday Feb. 20.
  • Kammie Ludwig, Geneseo (3A): Scored 25 points in less than a half of basketball in a win over United Township.
  • Erin Henry, Plainfield North (4A): Put up 17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in a win over Yorkville as the Tigers moved to 5-0 in the Southern Prairie; Also, Jayln Patterson scored 17 points and collected 14 rebounds in a win over West Aurora.
  • Jessie Pakaski, Wauconda (4A): Led her squad to wins of 63-31 over Grant and 51-26 against Round Lake, combining for 21 points, 21 rebounds, 9 blocks and 5 assists in those games.
  • Claire Roberts, Sandwich (3A): Scored 18 points, added 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists in a 40-25 win over Somonauk Monday, Feb 15; Hit two 3-pointers on her way to 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals in a 42-34 win over Rochelle on Wednesday, Feb. 17; Hit all 8 free throw attempts scored 10 points, added 7 rebounds and 2 steals in a Friday loss to Sycamore.
  • Gabi Burgess, Lake Park (3A): Scored 25 points and had three steals in road win over Wheaton North.
  • Sydney Affolter, Marist (4A): an Iowa signee, put up scoring totals of 33, 20 (w/16 rebounds), 13 (w/8 rebounds) and was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American Game.
  • Erin Houpt, Danville (3A): Had scoring totals of 35 and 20.
  • Lauren McDonald, Saint Ignatius: Scored 17 points, had 7 rebounds and 4 assists in a win over Mother McAuley Saturday; Scored 32 in a win over Mother McAuley Friday.
  • KayLee Hohlbauch, Arcola (1A): 23 rebounds, 16 points in a 48-41 win over Okaw Valley on Thursday.
  • Lexi Kerstein had a triple-double of 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and a near triple-double of 17 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds.
  • Carsyn Todd, Salt Fork (1A): Scored 31 and hit 4 treys in a win.
  • Maya Osborn, Marshall (2A): 20 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists in a 56-27 win over Olney.
  • Charlotte Trunk, Sandburg (4A): Averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds per game; Erin O’Connor is averaging 10 pts, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals a game; Also sophhomore guard Claire Calaghan is averaging 9 points, 4 assists and 4 steals per game.

Illinois Boys Player of the Week Nominees

  • Bryce Moore, Carmel Catholic (3A): 18 ppg, 9 rpg, 3 apg, 2 spg and led his team to a 2-1 record ast week.
  • Chase White, Lebanon (1A): Senior point guard missed who missed his entire junior season with an ACL tear and after three games this season he is averaging 17 ppg, 4 apg, 4 spg and 4 rbps a game. His coach called him “a silky point guard who can facilitate, pass and score.”
  • Jenson Whiteman, Rockridge (2A): Coming off a team quarantine, Whiteman scored 35 points had 6 rebounds and 4 assists in a win over Orion. Whiteman was an all-Three Rivers Area Conference performer a season ago.
  • Tommy Zimmer, Illinois Lutheran (1A): The junior, who already has a 31-point game this season, recorded a 20-point, 10-rebound game against Donovan Friday and a 20-point, 9-rebound game against Grant Park Saturday.
  • Devion Blake, Egyptian (1A): The 6 foot, 5 inch junior post player put up two strong performances, 22 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks and 3 steals in a win over Elvarado; Blake also posted 30 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals in a loss to Cobden.
  • Blake Kimball, Unity (Tolono) (2A): A junior point guard, Kimball scored 22 points in a loss to St. Joseph Ogden; Kimball responded after the loss with 30 points on 8 of 15 shooting, (6 of 13 on 3-point attempts) in a win over Paxton-Buckley-Loda.
  • Dylan Singleton, Lincoln (3A): Scored 38 in a win over 2A #1 Sacred- Heart-Griffin.
  • Manny Garcia, Notre Dame La Sallete: Put up a stat line of 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in a 57-47 win over Springfield Sabers.
  • Robbie Avila, Oak Forest (3A): The big, spectacled junior post had 23 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Bremen Wednesday; Avila, who recently picked up an offer from Division I Richmond; Scored 30 points and collected 11 rebounds in a loss against Lemont on Friday; Avila also crossed 1,000 points for his career.
  • Jacob Shoven, Clifton Central (2A): Scored 22 points and recorded 6 rebounds, 4 steals against Momence on Friday, reaching 1000 points in the process.
  • Jack Haynes, Streator (3A): Scored 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds (7 offensive, 7 defensive) against Peotone.
  • Bryce Anderson, Carterville (2A): hit the game-winning bucket with 2.3 seconds remaining to defeat previously unbeaten Centralia.
  • Ben Randall, Hersey (4A): Posted 15 points, 14 rebounds in one game, 12 points, 7 rebounds in another.
  • Nick Martinelli, Glenbard South (4A): Scoring in bunches for undefeated GBS, Scored 34 in a win over New Trier, and 21 in a win over Highland Park.
  • Kentucky signee Bryce Hopkins, earned a McDonald’s All-American Game nomination, had 25 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks in an 84-54 win over Montini; Scored 22 points in an overtime, 71-68 loss to Nile Notre Dame; Scored 19 in a win over Providence Catholic.
  • Ty Pence, St. Joseph-Ogden (2A): Scored 40 points and had 19 rebounds in a 66-52 win over Oakwood Wednesday Feb. 17 Scored 16 in a win over Robinson Saturday; Posted a 20-point, 16-rebound performance in a 58-51 win over Unity Friday.
  • Robert Roszkiewicz, Addison Trail (4A): Scored 37 in a loss to Willowbrook.
  • DaJuan Bates, De La Salle: scored 40 in a 66-51 win over Leo.
  • Jaxson Provost, Bishop McNamara: scored 23, had 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 deflections 3 steals over 2 games. s

Milestones, Game-Winners and More

We’re on the lookout for records and milestones, monster performances and game-winners. You can find more info like this by subscribing to the Illinois High School Basketball News Newsletter.

It’ll be hard to top a three-quarter court buzzer-beater to knock off a ranked team in overtime:

  • Coach Lee Bennett won his 300th game at Centralia. As of Wednesday Feb. 17 he held a record of 300-102.
  • Evanston graduate Eliyah Williams went over 1,000 points for Farleigh Dickinson.
  • Ashley Raymer reached 1,000 points for Providence Catholic.
  • Danny Grieves went over a quarter of a ton of wins, or as it’s easier to say, 500 for Metamora boys basketball.
  • Mendon Unity coach Brad Begeman reached 200 victories in a win over Quincy Notre Dame.
  • Greta Kampschroeder was honored as the lone Illinois girls preps player to be selected for the McDonald’s All-American Game and also hit this ridiculous shot.
  • Marengo’s Matt Volkening scored 33 points in the same game as he crossed the 1,000 points threshold in a 64-33 victory.
  • Conor Enright scored 21 points had 12 assists and 4 rebounds in a 70-48 win over Round Lake and also reached 1,000 points last week. He also scored 15 had 5 assists and 5 rebounds in a win over Libertyville.
  • Rochelle broke a school record when the Hubs drilled 18 3-pointers in a 90-56 victory.
  • Quincy Notre Dame reached 1,500 wins as a program, per Matt Schuckman.
  • Genoa-Kingston grad Julie Galauner scored 41 points had 11 rebounds, and broke the Augustana University and NACC career records for 3-pointers.
  • Josh Harris crossed 1,000 points for Timothy Christian.
  • Heritage’s Corey White won his 100th game.
  • Illinois Valley Central’s Kamden Wollard reached the 1,000 points mark.
  • Evanston girls basketball coach Brittanny Johnson recorded her 100th win as the coach of the Wildkits.
  • Decatur MacArthur’s Quincenia Jackson became the program’s all-time leader in points.
  • Kayla Kodat, Dwight (1A): Hit 1,000 points for her career.
  • Aurora Christian’s Lexi Lamanna, already the program record-holder for assists, broke the steals record as she neared 300 steals last week.
  • Sandburg’s Josie Canellis set the program record for most 3’s in a half with 7 aainst Bolingbrook.
  • Annawan’s Emily Miller is now over 1,000 career points after scoring 21 in a 64-48 win over West Central.