OAK LAWN | It seemed like T.F. North’s players never looked at the start time of Thursday night’s 65-41 South Suburban Conference cross-over loss to Oak Lawn.
The Meteors (2-1) spotted the Spartans a 15-point lead in the first four minutes of the game and looked like they were going through pregame warm-ups as Oak Lawn forced seven turnovers during the run.
Big Oak Lawn runs were the story of the first half as the Spartans (7-0) opened the second quarter the same way as the first, using a 17-2 spurt to put the game out of reach early at 38-11.
“You can’t win games with that many turnovers," said T.F. North coach Chris Pruitt, whose team had 29 total. "(Oak Lawn) shot 70 percent from the field because of all those fast break layups.
“This was a wakeup call. You have to play hard and work all game; you can’t win games if you only play in the second half. We have to play as a team and communicate as a team if we want to win as a team.”
Despite coming into the game with just eight players and two seniors that log any significant minutes on the roste, there were some positives for the Meteors.
Senior Esther Fagbemi had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. She added six steals, despite picking up two early fouls and turning her ankle in the third.
“Getting into foul trouble early definitely affected me” Fagbemi said. “I don’t have anyone behind me on the roster, so I had to chill out and play less aggressive to make sure I didn’t foul out. The ankle was just something that happened; you just have to play through the pain.”
The Meteors settled down in the second half, using a 9-0 run of their own to get the deficit under 20 points. They were never able to get any closer as the teams exchanged baskets the rest of the way.
“We’re a young team,” Pruitt said. “We’re still trying to fill some voids out there; they just have to step up and realize that no one is just going to let us come in and win games.”