Turchin rallies Wildkit girls to regional championship

Jayla Turchin was unstoppable once again Friday night.

So was Evanston’s girls basketball  team.

A team tested by adversity and injuries all season, the Wildkits ignored an early deficit and stormed past the host team to capture the Class 4A Maine South Regional tournament championship with a 63-46 triumph.

Turchin, a junior, led the way to Evanston’s second regional title in the past three years with a game-high 26 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. The Wildkits improved to 23-7 on the season and will face Loyola Academy on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Evanston Sectional on Monday. Top-seeded Maine West will play Glenbrook South at 6 p.m.

Evanston surrendered an uncharacteristic 19 points in the first quarter, then used an 7-0 run in the second quarter to pull ahead by a scant 23-22. The visitors scored the first 8 points of the second half and gradually put Maine South away.

Seniors SyAnn Holmes and Delaney Brooks each contributed 9 points and Ambrea Gentle tallied 7 for ETHS.

“I think our tough schedule really helped us tonight,” said Evanston head coach Brittanny Johnson. “We were down early, but the fight in this team is unbelievable. They never gave up on each other.”

Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.