Girls Basketball falls in city semifinals after historic city playoff run


Girls basketball does a team cheer at midcourt after defeating Amundsen in their Senior Night game. (Photo courtesy of Delilah Downes)

By Zach Sharpe and Nolan Moss

Under the bright lights of UIC’s Credit Union One arena, Lane Tech Girls Basketball took the court for one of the biggest games in program history on Wednesday night.

Lane came in looking to avenge a 79-35 loss to the Dolphins earlier in the season. But a 20-4 first quarter run gave the Dolphins a 15-point lead at the end of the first they would never relinquish.

While the final scoreboard would read 76-49 in favor of the first-seeded Young Dolphins, Lane’s appearance in the game was an accomplishment in itself.

It took home wins over Curie and Simeon, and an upset road victory over Hyde Park to get the Champions to their first Public League semifinal in recent school history.

The historic run kicked off two weeks prior, as Lane entered Senior Night on a four-game losing streak.

However, with all seven seniors for Lane scoring, this streak was snapped as Lane took over on offense and defense and cruised to a big win over Amundsen, 58-26, the first of six consecutive wins for Lane.

Three seniors led the winning effort for the Champions. Mimi Rector had 10 points (including two three-pointers), four steals, three rebounds and three assists. Delilah Downes ended with 12 points (including two three-pointers) and three rebounds. Logan Kane had 13 points (including two three-pointers), six rebounds (four offensive), one block and two 3-pointers, all without committing a turnover. 

Lane came out firing, leading 20-8 after the first quarter. They didn’t slow down, as they held Amundsen to only 3 points in the second quarter, while Lane scored 18. Lane took their foot off the gas a bit, but ultimately secured the win in good fashion, while satisfying their coach.

“We executed the offense we were supposed to run, and we went above and beyond what we were supposed to do,” Head Coach Megan Molloy said. 

Rector, a key playmaker on the court, had a very successful game. 

“I think the strategy was just knowing their defense and just really like having our offense set up,” Rector said.

The game contained a lot of aggression and physicality. Gameplay was getting heated and there was tension among the crowd as the girls tussled, but Downes said Lane did not back down. 

“I think that they did a really tremendous job of staying cool, and not letting other team rattle them and not become frustrated like Aumendson did. So the score was enough, you know, we didn’t need to get physical,” Head Coach Megan Molloy said.

Lane Gymnasium was packed for Senior Night, with both the Lane Boys Basketball and Baseball programs having almost all of their players there. The gym was very loud the entire game, which according to Sophie Keenan, helped. 

“I think having a bunch of fans, you know, cheering us on and hurting the egos of the other team, if you will, gave our energy a leg up and it made us strong, even if we weren’t making our shots, to get back and keep shooting,” Keenan said.

The win set up the momentum for a six-game winning streak leading into their semifinal berth.

Following the city playoffs, Lane opened up the state playoffs today, taking on Glenbrook North in a 4A regional semifinal.