Defense the focus in New Trier’s big win over Mather

chi-new-trier-trevians-20140312Just one day after giving up 78 points in a loss to Lincoln Park, New Trier coach Scott Fricke had no doubt about exactly how he would warm his team up before their next game. More than an hour before game time, with the entire team suited up on the floor, they ran through defensive sets in place of the more traditional layup lines.

“The pre-game was all about defense,” Fricke said. “It was about, ‘We cannot allow teams 78 points like we did in the first game.’ And if we allow teams to score that many then we’re not going to win a lot of games this year.”

Defense was definitely center stage for the Trevians Tuesday night at home, holding Mather High School to two points in the first quarter en route to a 69-30 victory.

The defense didn’t let up after the first quarter, allowing only 11 points in the second quarter, seven in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth quarter.

“In the first game we didn’t put enough effort and pride into wanting to play good defense,” sophomore Spencer Boehm said. “That’s what 90 percent of defense is, just wanting to put a wall up and not let them score. So we had a different mentality coming into the game. All of us were a little more mad and put into our defense.”

New Trier got scoring contributions from 15 different players. The starters were led by Boehm who scored seven points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. Andrew Kirkpatrick chipped in seven points and Aaron Peltz added six for the starting unit. But going ahead by such a big margin in the first half allowed New Trier to go to their bench earlier than they had the night before.

The Trevians’ bench scored 42 points following another strong showing in the season opening loss to Lincoln Park. The team’s depth is proving especially valuable in the midst of playing three games in three straight nights.

“It’s huge to give the starters a lift like that, it’s awesome for the team,” said senior Spencer Campbell, who scored four points off the bench. “It makes the team closer together if a bunch of guys can contribute … We really have a cohesive unit.”

New Trier will certainly need everyone ready to contribute as they prepare for Loyola on Wednesday, their final game before the Thanksgiving break. Loyola is 2-0 this season after beating Lincoln Park and Mather both by over 20 points each. And coming off an impressive win, New Trier appears ready for a battle.

“We know it’s going to be a dogfight,” said Boehm.