Eisenhower Girls Defense Dominates Again as Knights Win Barringer Holiday Classic Title

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The 2022 Barrington Holiday Classic champion Eisenhower Knights. Front - Bella Marino. Second Row - Haylee Irvin, Kaitlin Sleeman, Mackenzie Dunn, Lilly Smyth. Back row - Coach Chris Childs, Team Manager Miranda Gates, Lainey Font, Lexi Pascuzzi, Laney Belcher, Caroline Smyth, Sam Childs, Keeley Alcorn, Clara Steinberg, Team Manager Alana Byrd. Back, back row - Coach DJ Steinberg. Photo submitted.

ERIE – Tournament MVP Clara Steinberg scored 19 of her game-high 21 points in the first half to help Eisenhower open a big lead en route to a 63-18 win over Iroquois for the Barringer Holiday Classic title.

Eisenhower dominated both tournament games defensively, and the offense took advantage, as the Knights outscored their tournament opponents by a combined 123-30.

“They never let up,” Eisenhower coach DJ Steinberg said. “Every single one of them played hard every second they were in. We have a good, competitive basketball team, and the girls proved that over the last couple of games and over the last several weeks.”

Steinberg had 10 points in the first quarter of the championship game as the Knights blanked the Braves to take a 15-0 lead after the first eight minutes. Eisenhower gave up eight points in the second quarter but scored 22 for a 37-8 halftime advantage.

“It was all around a great team effort,” coach Steinberg said. “We have a good, hardworking ball club and I’m proud of it and proud of them.”

Eisenhower’s Lainey Font and Clara Steinberg were the Team and Tournament MVPs, respectively. Photo submitted.

Eight different players scored for Eisenhower. Bella Marino had 11 points, while Laney Belcher and Tournament Team MVP Lainey Font had seven each.

“Tonight, Lilly and Caroline Smyth did a fantastic job rebounding and putting shots back up,” coach Steinberg said. “Sam Childs was on defensively and all over the boards. Lainey Font and Laney Belcher played fast and aggressive, hitting open shots. Kaitlin Sleeman had some really great drives. Mackenzie Dunn was a defensive force that they couldn’t get through, and Clara Steinberg and Bella Marino controlled the pace and tempo of the game.”

Gracie Belfiore scored 12 of Iroquois’ 18 points.

While excited about the tournament win, the Knights know a grueling Region 3 schedule awaits on the other side of the holiday break.

“It’s nice to celebrate this win, but we have to get back to work,” coach Steinberg said. “Our schedule is going to get even tougher really quickly.”