Webb leads Lady Aces’ win
Sophomore nets 26 points in rout of Flora
MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. -- Mount Carmel sophomore Rylie Webb scored a season-high 26 points to lead the Lady Aces to a 68-45 victory over Flora at home on Monday, continuing their exceptional start to the season following a second place finish in the Robinson Tournament.
It took the Lady Aces a bit to wake up out of the gate, but Webb’s exceptional first half kept them alive and eventually put them ahead significantly. The sophomore Webb scored nine of Mount Carmel’s 13 points in the first quarter to give them a 13-7 lead at the end of the quarter.
The rest of the group joined Webb in the offensive onslaught in the second quarter, scoring 26 points as a team in the quarter, putting them ahead 39-22 at the half.
Webb scored 10 more points in the quarter, continuing her excellent play and giving her 19 first-half points.
“Rylie’s so good off the dribble, we got to work with her on a few more things, pull-up jumpers, things like that,” Mount Carmel head coach Tim Willis spoke of Webb. “She really runs the floor well, not only can she drive, but she runs the floor so we can get her some easy baskets, she carried us there in the first half.”
Willis was forced to call a couple timeouts in the third quarter due to his team’s lethargic start to the quarter, allowing a 13-2 run up until his second timeout.
Something clicked after that timeout for his group, as it was all Lady Aces after that point.
Their offense came back alive and Webb capped off the quarter with a buzzer-beating 3 to put the Lady Aces ahead, 48-37.
“Just slept-walked for the first four or five minutes (of the quarter),” Willis said. “We tried different combinations, nothing worked. We slowly pulled ourselves out of it, It got down to six. Once we got back on a roll we were OK.
“When we got in the locker room we told them that’s some things we need to improve on and we’re still learning some things away. It was the first time someone tried to take Maya away, so it was a learning experience for other kids to step up and take other roles.”
After the end of the third their strong play continued, extending their lead on a 10-2 run, blowing the game open to a 19 point lead as they barreled toward their 23 point victory.
Webb was the lone Lady Ace in double digits scoring, but they had strong contributions across the board, including nine points from sophomore Maya Smith, eight from junior Kassidy Drone, seven points from senior Mollie Dardeen, sophomore Madi Smith and senior Sela Lashbrook with five points each, Alli Kell with four points and senior Meredith Jones and sophomore Jada Smith each with two points.
“We told them in the locker room, we probably have five or six kids that can really light it up on certain days,” Willis spoke of his team. “Kassidy had 13 in the first quarter against Robinson in the tournament, Maya can obviously score at any time, as can Mollie, Sela came in and did a nice job down low which is what we need her to do, our kids can do that.”
With the victory the Lady Aces improve to 6-1 on the young season -- they began 5-2 last season en route to an 18-13 finish.
Though he expects some bumps in the road, coach Willis is pleased with how quickly his group has come along this year.
They have their eyes set on a particular date though, Feb. 6, 2019 -- the date of the IHSA Regional.
“Any time you start off winning and kids feel like they can win and win is what you want,” Willis said. “We’ll see how long we can ride this, there’ll be some rough patches but I think we can overcome those. We preach 2-6-19, getting ready for the regional all year and that won’t change.
“Whether we’re trying different combinations on the floor, whether we’re winning or losing we’re not afraid to try some things because we have to be ready for that second week of February.”
Looking to continue their early success, the Lady Aces now face an unfamiliar opponent, Bluford.
Coach Willis is unsure of what to expect from the Lady Trojans but hopes his team can continue their rhythm.
“Don’t know a whole lot about them, they have one young lady who’s like a 1,500-point scorer, some of their scouting report I was able to do,” coach Willis said. “So they’ve got one obvious good scorer, after that I’m kind of lost. They’re going to play man to man, which will help us .... I hope the fans come out, we had a decent crowd tonight, we’re 6-1, hopefully the community will jump on board and get us ready to go.”
The game is set to start at 6 p.m. with the JV team and the varsity game to follow.