Girl’s basketball played first conference game


Rachel Wagner

Madeline Bokich, senior, passes to her teammate Anna Howell, junior, during the game against York.

The Girls Basketball Team kicked off the first conference game of the season against the York Community High School Dukes on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. in Central’s main gym.

Central played tough but fell short to the Dukes 49-22 at the end of the game because of the opposing team’s heavy defensive play.

The Devils began with their starting five: Senior Guard Madeline Bokich, Senior forward Tina Rivera, Junior Forward Kendall Butler, Junior Guard Sarah Cernugal, and Sophomore Guard Maria Rivera.

The Devils led the first half of the first quarter, able to shoot outside the paint and at one point were in the lead by five points.

Rachel Wagner
Maiwan Amegadjie, junior, shoots against the York defense.

Yet despite a close start, the Dukes scored 11 straight points to end the quarter over the Devils 14-7.

York Guard Carly Schwartz led the Dukes in scoring, with 21 points after making 7 three-point shots.

“We knew going in that Schwartz was their best shooter and we discussed the need for closing out taking that away from her,” said Ms. Karen Persinger, head coach. “They did a good job reversing the ball and getting her some looks and we didn’t get closed off quick enough.”

Both the Dukes and the Devils played the same game in the second quarter, where Central struggled to get free space, and the Dukes were spaced around passing outside the paint constantly.

The rest of the second half, the Dukes took control of the ball, rebounding and stealing Central’s ball constantly throughout the half.

Rachel Wagner
Sarah Cernugal, junior, runs down the court dribbling the ball against York.

York scored 16 points in the third quarter, while Central only scored 5 points. Towards the end of the quarter, when the clock was running out, Cernugel shot the ball behind half court and made the shot just as the buzzer went off, making the score 44-19.

There weren’t many points scored in the fourth quarter, and the score rounded out to be 49-22 for Central’s first home game. York finished with 53 rebounds, 15 assists, 11 steals, and two blocks while Central had 27 rebounds, four assists, six steals, and two blocks.

“It was a little upsetting to lose especially since it was our first home game,” Bokich said. “But it was definitely a learning process and it was helpful to get those losses and to learn from them and they’re just helping us to become better players and it was nice to be at home game for once.”

That being said, the team is young and small, after eight seniors graduated. The two senior members include Bokich and Rivera, and six underclassmen make up the rest of the varsity roster.

“Maddie and Tina have done a really great job at leading and setting the example of what varsity basketball work ethic looks like and the younger kids come to practice every day and they work their tails off,” Coach Persinger said. “Tonight didn’t go the way that they wanted to but I wouldn’t trade my eight girls for anybody else and we’ ll get back to work on Monday and give me everything they have.”

The Devils have room for improvement but are hopeful because they have a long season ahead to make those changes.

“We still need to improve working hard on defense,” Rivera said. “We kind of took a lot of defensive plays off which you can’t do, because that’s how you lose the game, so we just keep boxing out, closing out and staying low on defense and then our offense will just come to us when we play.”

The next time girls basketball plays is Tuesday, Dec. 4, as they host West Suburban Conference competitor Glenbard West at 7:00 p.m. in the main gym.

The boy’s basketball team also hosts the cross-town rivalry game against Hinsdale South in the main gym on Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.