Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012, 10:46 pm

VanHyfte leads Annawan girls to win over Orion

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By Anthony Sandoval,

More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood
During the girls basketball 2012 Temple's Tip-Off Classic Wednesday in Geneseo, Annawan's Celina VanHyfte goes up for lay up as Orion's Katie Garrity defends during first half action. Annawan handily won the game.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood
During the girls basketball 2012 Temple's Tip-Off Classic Wednesday in Geneseo, the Maple Leafs Hannah Kain battles Rockridge's Taylor Cullen for possession of the ball during the first quarter of play.
GENESEO -- A huge night from Celina VanHyfte and timely defense helped the Annawan girls basketball team win its second match up in the Temple's Tip-Off Classic.

Annawan (2-0) defeated the Orion Lady Chargers, 63-50 in the opener of the Wednesday twinbill at Geneseo High School.

The 6-foot-1 junior had 30 points, six rebounds and four blocks in the win.

"I had a feeling they would just be guarding me down in the paint," VanHyfte said. "I just tried to draw them in as much as possible to get my teammates an opportunity."

Coach Jason Burkiewicz had some high praise for his junior.

"She's our big option," He said. "If we can get it down to her, we will. Especially if a team doesn't bring another person over to double team her."

Annawan's defense also played a big role in the win.

"I think it was our defense and our defense early," Burkiewicz said. "We died out a little bit early in the second half. We're going to have to condition a little better because our legs left us a little bit."

Annawan's defense forced Orion to turn the ball over 18 times. The Bravettes had seven blocks and 11 steals.

"The second quarter was what carried us through by forcing turnovers," Burkiewicz said. "We could of had 60 points at the half with all of the steals and turnovers we had. We're trying our best to fine tune those things."

Annawan will play again Saturday against Chicago Raby at 2 p.m. and against Geneseo at 7:30 p.m.

"We don't know much about the Chicago team," Burkiewicz said. "Geneseo is a young team like we are, and are trying to regroup a little bit. Coach (Scott) Hardison might have a trick up his sleeve for us. We'll be prepared for both teams. It's always nice to start 2-0, but this team has a ways to go."

Geneseo won the second game of the night, 47-28 over Rockridge.

Maple Leafs guard Molly DeBrock scored a game-high nine points to go with four steals.

"Our focus is the man-to-man defense," Hardison said. "It has been since I took over and the girls are really buying into that. DeBrock really blossomed last year at the sophomore level. She's quick and gets her hands on everything and we like what she has been doing."

The Maple Leafs put up 22 points in Monday's season-opener and showed tremendous improvement by having 26 in the first half Wednesday.

"We're young and inexperienced," Hardison said. "It was sloppy, but we made some marked improvements and we want to build on that."

Geneseo will face Raby on Friday evening and Annawan on Saturday.

"Annawan and us is always a big rivalry," Hardison said. "We're in a reshifting mode, so it will be a good test for us. It's a measuring stick. We're building from where we were. We're .500 and we want to move forward from here."