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Hillcrest's Dana Gettis (30) takes the ball down court against Homewood-Flossmoor's Amani Davis during their basketball game in Country Club Hills Thursday, November 15, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Dana Gettis fully expected to be a leader for Hillcrest this season, but not quite in the way she was in the Hawks’ 65-49 victory Thursday night over visiting Homewood-Flossmoor.
The 5-foot-9 senior was planning to be a shooting guard while sophomore Aliah Acker ran the point. Acker, however, suffered an ankle sprain during Hillcrest’s annual Blue-and-White game.
“Coach (John Maniatis) told me I was going to be the point guard,” Gettis said. “I was a little bit nervous about it, but I had to do it. I had to do what I had to do.”
She did that, and just about everything else well as the No. 4 Hawks stunned No. 3 H-F in the season opener.
Gettis scored 22 points and had seven assists. She also was part of a stifling Hillcrest zone defense that caused 19 H-F turnovers and held the Vikings to a 17-of-67 reading from the field.
Others stepping up for the Hawks were sophomore Tanzania Sherrill, who in her varsity debut had 15 points and five rebounds, Miriam Awoniyi (11 points, 7 rebounds), Lorielle Little (7 points, 6 rebounds) and Shayle Joyner (6 points, 4 rebounds).
Sydni Johnson led H-F with 18 points and six rebounds, while Emily Russo had 10 points and Jaiveonna Norris seven points.
Gettis and Sherrill each had six points during a third period in which Hillcrest turned a 26-24 halftime advantage into a 44-31 lead. Gettis added an exclamation point on her night with an eight-point fourth quarter.
“This is the role she has been groomed to be in for the last four years,” Maniatis said. “This is her time. We had complete faith walking in (Thursday). But every kid stepped up in their role.”
Especially on defense. H-F shot just 1-of-15 in the pivotal third period and never looked comfortable driving.
“This group, what they have, is a lot of length,” Maniatis said. “Their initial first two steps are very good on the defensive end for us. This could be one of the more talented defensive teams we’ve had in some time.”