Aubrey Galvan’s first New Trier-Loyola rivalry experience was “fun. That’s all I can say. It was really fun.”
It was certainly more than that as the junior Loyola Academy guard created a number of highlight-reel moments. From step-back threes to clever steals, Galvan dazzled the crowd on her way to 24 points and a 60-39 Ramblers win Wednesday, Nov. 22, in Winnetka.
Galvan is in her first year with Loyola after transferring from Deerfield, and the smooth and quick point guard is already making her mark.
“As you saw tonight, she’s a special kid,” Loyola coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. “All summer we talked about her being more of a scoring threat. If she really wants to score, she takes it to another level. And tonight she took it to that next level of wanting to put the ball through the hoop.”
Galvan’s production was key early. She scored 7 first-quarter points as New Trier grabbed an early lead of 14-10 after one quarter of play.
Her 5 second-quarter points were part of the decisive run of the contest that gave the Ramblers the lead for good. Loyola senior Morgan Bruno added two 3-pointers during the stretch in which Loyola outscored New Trier 14-2 to flip a five-point deficit (18-13) into a six-point advantage (27-20) at halftime.
It wasn’t just Loyola’s offense, however. Its defensive pressure at times overwhelmed the Trevians, who turned the ball over seven times in the second quarter and more than 20 times in the game.
“Give them credit. They do a good job of pressuring he ball and hounding the passing lanes. It’s hard not to turn the ball over against them,” New Trier coach Teri Rodgers said. “We got a little bit panicked at times. We got out of our alignment that we wanted to be in, but that’s what good teams do; they force you to do things you don’t want to do.”
Loyola continued to leverage its defensive pressure in the second half, keeping New Trier at an arm’s length by limiting the Trevs’ possessions.
Returning senior star Paige Engels went to work in the third quarter, scoring eight of her 17 points, as the Ramblers lead ballooned to 16 points. Engels added 7 rebounds as well as a number of steals for the Ramblers.
Engels leads a Ramblers team that retained its entire roster from a year ago when it advanced to a sectional final of the IHSA Class 4A tournament. Engels and fellow senior Kelsey Langston, a guard, were also starters as sophomores when Loyola made it to the supersectional round.
Joining them in the Ramblers rotation are starters Clare Weasler, a sophomore, and Julia Gamboa, a senior, and reserves Marycait Mackie, a sophomore, Grace Bronski, a junior, Clare Leyden, a junior, and Bruno, a senior, among others.
The experienced group is off to a 5-0 start, which includes wins over Stevenson, Phillips, Warren and Fenwick.
“We can accomplish a lot,” Galvan said of the Ramblers. “The chemistry of the team is great. If we keep at this pace, I think we’re going to do some great things.”
New Trier was led on Wednesday by senior Sela Klein and her 12 points. Fellow seniors KJ Saccaro (10 points, 4 steals), Erin Floyd (6 points, 10 rebounds) and Marley Meyers (6 points) also contributed for the Trevs.
Senior Charlotte Dellin also joined the starting lineup, and senior Reese Leahy and junior Anna Rivera will be quick off the bench. Freshman Emerson Buck is an up and comer that excites Rodgers and her staff.
“We have a lot of kids who can play,” Rodgers said. “We can get kids in and out, we can play different defenses. We have to run and be more efficient on our offense and really share that ball. We are better together, so make sure we can constantly playing team basketball, because we are going to play teams that have better players than us, so we have to be the better team.”
The senior-heavy Trevians are looking to advance out of a regional for the first time since 2017-’18. New Trier has lost in the regional final each of the last four postseasons.
The Trevs are off to a 3-2 start with victories over Fenwick, Phillips and Warren. Their other loss came against Stevenson.