Girls basketball: Lake Central’s hot shooting helps Marc Urban win in coaching debut
BY JOHN O’MALLEY Post-Tribune correspondent November 7, 2012 11:06PM
Lake Central's Tara Zlotkowski is tripped up by Griffith's Taylor Austin in the first quarter Wednesday evening at Lake Central High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 7:47PM
ST. JOHN — Tara Zlotkowski and a handful of other Lake Central players have been waking up early to squeeze in extra shooting practice before school.
All that extra shooting paid big dividends for the Indians in a season-opening 54-25 romp over Griffith Wednesday night. Gina Rubino swished a trio of 3-point baskets to start the game, while Zlotkowski drained two of her four treys in the first period, to help stake the Indians to a 21-1 lead after the first quarter.
The Indians made 7-of-15 treys overall and shot nearly 47 percent from the floor for the game, helping new coach Marc Urban, who replaced Leslie Iwema, win in his debut as head coach. Urban spent six seasons as an assistant coach for the boys team.
Zlotkowski, who scored 11 of her game and career-high 16 points in the first half, admitted Rubino’s three treys to open the game got her going, too.
“Once I saw Gina was hitting them, it was a confidence-builder for me,’’ Zlotkowski said. “I just wanted to start putting them up there, too.’’
Without regular shooting guard Lizzie Seymour (back injury) in the lineup, Zlotkowski and Rubino, who finished with nine points, came up huge for LC.
“I’m just glad the first one’s in the books,’’ Urban said. “We tried to do the right things and play the right way. The girls really bought into what we were doing.’’
Zlotkowski said some of LC’s 3-point shooting comes off set plays, others don’t.
“Some of them are set up for us to kick and shoot,’’ she said. “Other times, it was just girls driving and kicking.’’
Zlotkowski said the Indians’ start is very encouraging.
“Last season was last season,’’ she said. “We wanted to come out with a bang and prove everybody wrong. We wanted to show we’re going to come out and make a name for ourselves.’’
Griffith coach Tom Golumbeck tried to keep the ball away from LC’s post players Jessica Bell (12 points), Linday Kusbel (seven points) and Jessica DelBovo early, but Zlotkowski and Rubino made the Panthers pay for it.
“We could only take one of those things away,’’ Golumbeck said. “We did a really bad job of adjusting to that (3-point shooting). We just can’t give them wide open looks like that. Give them credit, though. They knocked down wide open shots. I mean, how many times are they going to do that before you realize you have to get out there and defend them?’’
Griffith played without starter Alyssa Gebo, who has a PCL injury in a knee.