Behind Jonas and Reed, Bay girls win streak at three
Blue Dukes host tourney this weekend
With veteran hands Maya Jonas and Ashley Reed leading the way, the still relatively inexperienced Whitefish Bay girls basketball team is gaining experience rapidly, running its win streak to three games with a pair of impressive wins over Nicolet and Grafton last week.
"The kids are getting used to the varsity-level intensity," Blue Dukes coach Dave Markson said. "...We're also playing well defensively and dabbling in a little pressure defense, too. It's become a bit of a weapon. (Guard) Kaitlyn Jackson has been very disruptive. We put her on the ballhandler and she really wears people out."
The Blue Dukes (4-2 overall) try to build on this momentum, when they host their North Shore-Woodland Conference crossover tournament Friday and Saturday. They take on unbeaten (7-0) area rival Shorewood at 7:30 p.m. Friday and then play Greendale at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"It's a different kind of tourney," Markson said. "We're really looking forward to it, because Shorewood has the most height of any team we've faced so far."
Among the most encouraging things that Markson has seen is the freedom with which the 6-2 Northwestern recruit Jonas is playing. Playing a combination guard/forward position unusual for someone of her height, she is showing no signs of wear and tear from the knee injury that cost her a good chunk of last season.
"Maya can just take the ball down the court whenever she wants to," Markson said. "There are not a lot of players who can grab the rebound, turn and take it down the court and create like her."
Jonas had 15 points and the 6-1 Reed had 13 as the Blue Dukes rolled past their area rivals Nicolet on Friday, 58-34. It was 16-3 at the quarter and 29-9 at the half. Markson has also been pleased with the development of new small forward Emma Jankowski, who contributed 10 points to the victory.
"She's now had 13, nine and 10 points in her last three games," Markson said.
Brandilyn Robertson had nine points for the Knights.
In the 51-26 overpowering of Grafton, Bay built a small, 16-11 first quarter lead but then gradually pulled away the rest of the game, outscoring the Black Hawks in all four quarters. It was 28-18 at the half and 44-23 at the end of three.
Jonas was very active again with 19 points as Reed contributed 12 and Jankowski nine.
"It was a very nice defensive game," Markson said. "We switched from man to zone and both worked. It was also one of those games where you could really see the effect Kaitlyn (Jackson) has on people.
"I was also happy with the fact that we got everyone in this game and saw no real drop-off defensively." Markson has also been pleased with the play of guard Rachel Schmidt.
The first-year coach now just wants to maintain the momentum, especially for his ace Jonas.
"It's been fun watching everyone develop their skills," Markson said. "Maya gets a lot of the publicity, but it's still nice for the coaches and the players to have someone out there like that, who can lift everyone else's game."
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