Winnetka, Sports

Third time’s the charm for New Trier girls basketball as Trevians hang on to top Glenbrook South, claim regional title

New Trier avenges two losses against South with postseason victory

New Trier knew it was only a matter of time. 

With a 12-point halftime lead over their conference foe Glenbrook South, the Trevians were fully expecting a fierce push from the Titans in the game’s final two quarters. 

Glenbrook South turned the Trevians’ forecast into reality early on in the second half, putting forth a furious comeback attempt that saw the Titans cut New Trier’s once-sizable advantage to just one point with under a minute to play. 

But the Trevians stood tall, delivering a series of key defensive stops late in the game to defeat the Titans 34-32 and win the regional title on Thursday, Feb. 15, at Mather High School in Chicago. 

“I’m just thrilled,” New Trier coach Teri Rodgers said of the Trevs’ exhilarating playoff win. “They’ve wanted this so badly. I’m just so happy for them.” 

New Trier put together a game plan at halftime to prepare for the Titans’ push, Rodgers said, adding that the Trevs made it a focus to be ready. 

New Trier senior Erin Floyd controls the Trevs offense during a fourth-quarter possession in the team’s 34-32 win over Glenbrook South.

“We knew it was coming, and at halftime, we kept talking about how are we going to react,” Rodgers said. “We knew we had to be strong with the ball, and take it back at them. That’s what we kept talking about. We knew that was going to happen and we wanted to be able to be strong. We didn’t do quite as we would have liked but I thought our composure was great.” 

The Trevs jumped out to their fast start thanks to a 13-point opening quarter. It was a balanced attack for New Trier from the beginning, as six different Trevs scored in the opening eight minutes. 

Junior Anna Rivera put an exclamation point on New Trier’s excellent beginning when she stole the ball, took it the near length of the court and laid in a basket as time in the first quarter expired. 

Starting out fast was a key for the Trevians heading into the contest, especially considering how close the team expected the game to play out. 

“It was really important for us to start fast,”  senior KJ Saccaro said. “We’ve had a few games this season where we’ve given up leads but the fact that we got the lead so big allowed us to be more methodical in the second half. And even though we made a couple of mistakes later on … we set ourselves up for success in the second half.” 

To help add to their handsome lead, New Trier doubled up the Titans in the second quarter, outscoring GBS 12-6. Both Rivera and senior ​​Reese Leahy played key roles for the Trevs in the quarter as both added multiple timely baskets. 

The third belonged completely to the Titans as they outscored the Trevs 12-5 to make it a 30-25 game heading into the fourth. Propelling South’s rush was a pair of late three-pointers in the quarter. 

GBS’s All-Conference guard Gina Davorija willed the Titans back into the game throughout the second half, scoring 12 of her game-high 18 points in the final quarter.

Davorija was especially brilliant in the fourth, as she accounted for all seven of South’s points in the final eight minutes. 

New Trier’s defense locked down the attacking Titans when it mattered most, forcing turnovers on two of South’s final three possessions.

Moments after she hit a clutch free throw to extend New Trier’s lead to two points, Saccaro stole an attempted inbounds pass from the Titans with under 10 seconds remaining. 

KJ Saccaro dribbles the ball up court for the Trevs.

Glenbrook South had one final attempt to tie with just seconds left but a long three-point attempt was off target. 

“I’m so proud of this team,” Rodgers said. “The defense they played was phenomenal. That was the key, and we knew it was going to be a defensive battle.” 

Rodgers also added that she was immensely proud of the resilience the Trevs showed all night. 

“We haven’t always come through this season in those close games, so, in the big stage, to be able to take the lessons that we’ve learned from back then and put them to good use here … I loved it. The resilience is great.” 

The Trevians and Titans matchup in the postseason was the third time the teams have squared off this season. South bested New Trier both times in the regular season — winning by a combined margin of seven points. 

The difference for New Trier this third time came down to winning key battles over loose balls throughout the night. 

“Both games we’ve played were just like this,” Rodgers said. ‘The biggest difference I think was that we got more loose balls tonight than we did in those first two games and I think hands down that is the difference.” 

Winning the regional title checks off a huge goal for the Trevians, who entered the season with that exact target in mind. 

“It’s just awesome,” Saccaro said. “We’ve had regional finals circled on our calendar since last year and everything we’ve done has been toward that. … We’ve stuck to our word and worked really hard. It just means so much to be able to get this and have this for our team.”

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martin carlino
Martin Carlino

Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.

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