New Trier gelling at the right time

IMG_3563The New Trier Trevians feel like they are starting to put it all together, and the timing couldn’t be better, with only one game remaining before sectionals. The Trevs went 1-1 in back-to-back games this weekend, defeating Niles West 56-48 Friday before dropping the Saturday matinee 59-49 to St. Viator.

“We’re playing better right now and this is the right time of the year to start playing better,” coach Scott Fricke said. “Our defense is turning our game around. We’re able to play three defenses against teams … and hopefully it’s keeping people off balance.”

It had been a tough stretch for New Trier entering last weekend, dropping four out of five games before winning two of the last three, starting with their 54-41 victory over Maine South last weekend.

And this is a team that indeed needs to gel if they want to be successful in their sectional next week. New Trier is a team built around energy and defense, with no one player on the team averaging over 9.8 points per game.

“We’re sharing the ball well,” Fricke said. “I don’t think kids care who scores and who doesn’t score.”

The brightest spot of late has been the play of junior Griffin Ryan, the team’s “swiss army man” who is back in the lineup after an illness kept him off the court for almost a month. Ryan started the season coming off the bench and then found spot-starts as the team dealt with several injuries in January. He led the Trevians Saturday with 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

“I’m just trying to bring as much energy as I can,” said Ryan. “Trying to do all of the little things –  boxing out, trying to get rebounds, trying to get steals. My job on offense isn’t really to score the ball. [Andrew Kirkpatrick]’s really good at scoring, Aaron [Peltz] can shoot the three, so I’m just trying to find them, get them open shots and if they leave me unguarded, then I’ll take my shot.”

New Trier has all their rotation players healthy for the first time since the beginning of the season. They’ll have one more match, “Senior Night” against Highland Park high school on Tuesday, before they face Lake Villa in their sectional on Feb. 21.

Game Recaps:

2/17 vs. Niles West – This was a revenge game for New Trier, who lost 44-26 in their first meeting at Niles West on Jan. 13. The Wolves kept the game close until senior Teddy McGregor finished a fast-break with a soaring two-handed dunk that put the Trevians up for good. Peltz led the way with 18 points, including 12-for-12 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Spencer Boehm added 10 and Kirkpatrick had 8 in the win. Senior Don Asuncion was Niles West’s leading scorer with 13 points.

2/18 vs. St Viator – St. Viator got off to a fast start, beginning the game on a 9-0 run. New Trier answered and took the lead on a Kirkpatrick three in the second quarter. But St. Viator came out of halftime strong and led by as many as eight in the fourth quarter. New Trier cut the lead to one with 2:30 left in the game but St. Viator pulled away, led by sophomore Jeremiah Hernandez, who scored 19 points. Kirkpatrick and Ryan had 13 a piece for the Trevians in the loss.