One area junior forward Celia Satter said she spent working on this offseason was getting to the basket.
It showed Monday as she scored a career-high 28 points in Loyola’s 68-29 win over Hyde Park in the season opener at home. All of Satter’s points came in the first three quarters.
“I’ve been looking forward to this game since the end of last season,” said Satter, a product of Sacred Heart School in Winnetka.
Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker noticed a significant jump in Satter’s game from her sophomore season when she averaged 3.4 points a game off the bench.
“She had a fantastic summer,” he said. “She’s become a dynamic offensive player.”
Loyola, which finished 21-11 and won a Class 4A regional title last season, had little trouble with the Lady Thunderbirds. The Ramblers led 20-9 after one quarter, 42-13 at the half and 60-19 heading into the fourth. While Schoenecker said he considers his rotation about eight players deep right now, all 15 saw action Monday.
“It’s always awesome when everybody gets to play,” Satter said.
Senior guard Erin Dillon, one of three returning starters, scored 10 of her 13 points in the first half. Senior guard and first-year starter Adie Morrill, who signed with John Carroll University on Nov. 8, added seven points. Junior guard and two-year starter Julia Martinez contributed six points. Junior guard Addison Bendery scored six points off the bench.
“Our transition game is very good,” Schoenecker said. “We haven’t had a group like this in a long time. It’s nice having a player like Julia who always plays with her head up and can get us going down the floor quickly.”
In her fourth varsity season, senior Lilly Wehman is the third player back with starting experience. The Georgetown-bound forward set a program record for blocks in a single season with 125 as a junior.
“The biggest thing for Lilly is slowing her down and getting her to relax on offense,” Schoenecker said. “We want her working more in a straight line to the basket. On defense, she’s fantastic and alters the game on that end.”
Martinez led the Ramblers in points (10.8), rebounds (8.1), assists (6.8) and steals (4.2) last season. Her 196 total assists and per-game average both were records as was her per-game average for steals.
“Julia continues to get better and more consistent in every area,” Schoenecker said. “Two main things for her are finishing around the basket with contact and improving her jump shot.”
Dillon and Morrill can stretch out defenses with their perimeter shooting. In addition to scoring off the dribble, Satter’s range extends to the 3-point line.
Junior guard Alex Guzzardo, sophomore forward Addison Ebeling and sophomore guard Kate Kurkowski make up the core rotation, according to Schoenecker. Bendery is someone who will find her way onto the court in certain situations, Schoenecker said.
“I think we can be really, really good, but it could take us a little bit of time to figure out what type of team we can be,” he said. “In years past, we’ve been very defensive-minded, but I think offense will be our strength this year. We don’t have any crazy expectations right now, but that could change as the season progresses.”
Loyola plays at home Thursday against New Trier in the second game of New Trier’s Thanksgiving tournament. The Ramblers beat the Trevians 47-38 in Winnetka last season.