SOUTH HOLLAND | Janeah Stewart and the Thornwood girls basketball team know they're going to have to play better than this if they're going to hang around the playoffs for much longer.
Despite the lackluster performance by both teams, Stewart led the Thunderbirds to a 41-31 victory against T.F. South in the opening round of the Class 4A Thornwood Regional on Monday. Stewart finished the game with 12 points and 17 rebounds. The Thornwood defense was consistent throughout the game and helped to hold the Rebels in check.
"We had good defense," Stewart said. "Still, there was no help side and we could have played better. We were a little slow on defense and our shots weren't going down. No rebounds or put backs. We just could have played a lot better."
Thornwood guard Aaliyah Wricks added nine points and 14 rebounds for the host Thunderbirds. Thornwood's Arielle Miree and Breneka Walker each added seven points in the win. Thornwood will move on to face Marist at 6 p.m. Thursday evening.
"I think our girls just came out a little nervous," Thornwood coach Danielle Jania said. "That's probably some of the worst basketball we've played. We won, but we didn't hit our shots and we missed a lot of layups."
T.F. South struggled to get the offense going all night. Teosha Rolling led the Rebels with nine points and three steals. After the loss, T.F. South head coach Steve Breshock said despite the down year, the future of the Rebels is looking up.
"We couldn't hit a shot," Breshock said. "Sometimes we just don't want to play, and we're not good enough to have one or two people not playing on any given night. We have plenty of younger players, so we're looking forward to next year."