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Andrean's Allen catches fire at Marquette

MICHIGAN CITY -- How hot was Tori Allen on Monday at the Scholl Center?

It was a bigger deal when the Andrean sophomore guard missed a 3-point shot than when she made one -- or six.

Allen had popped six in a row in the game with Marquette before finally rimmed a 25-footer about midway through the fourth quarter of a 68-30 blowout.

"It's my first time not really missing," said Allen, who recorded a career-high 22 points to help the 59ers stay unbeaten. "It just like boosts your confidence, so you're feeling it more and you just have more trust in your shot."

Five of Allen's treys came in the first half as the Niners blistered the Blazers' zone with eight triples, missing just four.

"The ref said, do you guys miss 3-pointers? I said, well, we try not to," Andrean coach Tony Scheub said. "Last year, we struggled against a zone. We didn't shoot it as well. This year, it's kind of coming around. We're attacking zones better and shooting better. They extended their range, so that extends the zone, and that opens up the middle a little more for us. The rims are a little loose here, so it worked out nice for us."

Andrean (8-0) could've been shooting on those narrow cylinders at the rigged carnival games, and it wouldn't have mattered. They ball wasn't touching anything but the net.

Tori Allen

Allen started it with the first basket of the game, then hit another one from the key as the 59ers jumped out 10-0.

"I'm actually more comfortable a couple steps back (from the arc)," she said. "Over quarantine, I really focused on shooting every day. That got me to being how good of a shooter I am now. I was more of a driver."

It was 14-5 when DJ Khaled could've stopped in to do an extended version of his 'Another One' bit. Dyamond Blair, right baseline; Allen from the wing; Julia Schutz, left baseline; Allen, from the wing; Lauren Colon baseline; and, finally, Allen, top of the key, from 25 feet, for a 43-10 lead.

"These kids, all of 'em, they put in so much through the quarantine, during the summer," Scheub said. "It's been pretty amazing how many shots that they took. We kept track, I was sending them workouts, hey, let's shoot 250 shots, they send it back, we took 700. It wasn't just like they took 250 shots. They took runners, they took step-backs, a little bit of everything. When we finally got to get back together, I was just in awe. They shoot the ball. They have confidence."

Marquette coach Katie Collignon's angst peaked when her team let the sizzling Allen walk right into a zone gap for an open splash in the midst of her binge.

"We talked about how they can really shoot the basketball," Collignon said. "We talked about closing out with our hands up. It didn't happen. We switched to man to man, then we'd lose them, too. We're not being basketball players. I can't teach every aspect of the game during the game. This is supposed to be varsity, you'd think they'd have a few instincts when they get here, but it hasn't been the case. It really isn't rocket science when it comes down to it."

Allen knocked down one more triple in the third quarter, which the Niners started with 15 straight points to lead 58-10.

"They're good," Collignon said. "They shot the ball beautifully, they moved the ball really well. They defended great, too, so what are you going to do? We hadn't shot the ball well last week. We took Friday, we took Saturday, and shot the ball 45 minutes both times. That's a lot of shooting. Let's get comfortable, these are our home rims. I don't know when it's going to transfer over. I hope it happens quickly. We kind of forced some things after that. If we're not stopping anybody at the other end, it hurts you on both sides. It's just frustrating, especially in your home gym. You never want to come out and play like that." The versatile Schutz backed Allen with 16 points and seven rebounds, Colon scored 10, Blair 9 and Abbi Foster eight. "What I enjoy about this team, it's hard to key on one kid," Scheub said. "We have multiple weapons. Against Portage, (Allen) scored 11, but she had like eight assists. Dyamond scored 20 against Portage; she had nine, but she was doing more other things. (Schutz is) a big, strong, long kid. She can finish on the inside and through contact well." Allen makes the 40-minute or so trip from Kouts to 5959 Broadway in Merrillville each day with her dad, who is a manager at the nearby Menard's. Scheub remembers first meeting her at Andrean's open house for eighth graders. "I had heard about her, but I'd never seen her play," he said. "I said, where do you go to school? She said, Kouts Middle School. I was like, that's a little far. She said, my dad works at Menard's; OK, now we're talking. I'll take it. We're not trading her." Allen played AAU (Region Rebels) with classmates Foster and Colon, whose decision to go to Andrean played a part in her choice to go there. "It was just like it was a better fit, socially and for sports," she said. "We have good chemistry on and off the court. We know each other well. That helps."

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