Marian Central Catholic High School’s girls varsity basketball defeated Woodstock High School 62-40 Dec. 21 in the 16-team Northern Illinois Holiday Classic Tournament. 

The Hurricanes held the lead from the beginning and maintained pressure for the win. 

For the Lady ’Canes, junior Vannessa Garrelts dominated scoring with 28 points, which included four 3-pointers. Senior Grace Shukis added eight points, and junior Katherine Littner had seven points. 

“We came out with a lot of energy, and I think that energy kept our momentum strong for the entire game,” said Shukis. “We’ve had some pretty tough games, but this game we moved the ball very well offensively, and that helped us secure the win.”

Marian head coach Tony Powe said he is encouraged to see the benefits of his team’s work in practice. “We’ve been really talking about lately just keeping the intensity up, keep working hard, keep putting in the effort, and tonight they kept doing that,” Powe said. “Everyone that came in off the bench did exactly what they were supposed to do,” Powe said. 

For the Blue Streaks, senior Diana Spokas led in scoring with 10. Senior Gabriella Scolio had eight points, and juniors Autumn Overly and Sophia Shinherr each contributed five. 

“I think we need to pick up our defense a little bit. We’ve struggled, but Marian’s a really good team,” Overly said. “They’re a good rival for us. They have a really good ball handler Vannessa Garrelts, who is a great player,” Overly said.

WHS' Camryn Tafoya looks for an opportunity to pass the ball to a teammate during the Dec. 21 game against Marian. Independent Photo by Whitney RuppHead coach for the Blue Streaks, Jen Nichols-Hogle, said she believes in her team regardless of the game’s outcome. “We believe in them. No matter if we are down or up, defeated or undefeated, we still care about them,” Nichols-Hogle said. “There’s nothing but potential on this team. We have to do a really good job of getting that out of them by putting them into situations for their strengths. It’s a work in progress.”

The tournament, which is in its 28th year was played at three schools, WHS, McHenry and Richmond-Burton. 

“It is a very nice holiday tournament for girls basketball in the area, so much that we have a waiting list of teams that want to join,” said WHS Athletic Director Glen Wilson.

In other Holiday Classic games, Marian lost to Johnsburg 50-37, defeated Round Lake 44-39, lost to Prairie Ridge 47-36 and lost to Wauconda 51-35. 

Woodstock lost to Lakes 49-29, to Crystal Lake Central 48-34 and Marengo 55-51.

Woodstock North also played in the tournament. The Thunder lost to Richmond-Burton 55-41, to Wauconda 45-39 and to Crystal Lake South 58-25. In the consolation bracket, they defeated North Chicago 60-25 and DeKalb 47-36.

All three teams return to the court Jan. 3. Woodstock will face South Beloit in an away game. Marian will play at Crystal Lake South, and North will play at Burlington Central. Marian and North are at 7-8 on the season and Woodstock is at 3-11.  

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