Stagg passes its first 2014 test with big win over L-Way West
Starting 2014 off with a win in the record book was a top priority to Stagg Coach Bill Turner, and Friday’s contest against Lincoln-Way West was the test.
The Chargers started off strong and built an early lead; however their opponent battled back and cut the deficit to six and it would be from the free throw line where victory would be sealed.
Stagg was a perfect 8 of 8 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter and 15 of 18 for the game, and it helped preserve a 48-35 victory.
Hannah Henderson (11 points, four assists), Kate Adams (10 points), Casey McMahon (eight points, six rebounds, six assists, three steals) and Mia DiGiacomo (six points, 14 rebounds, four blocks) led Stagg (6-7).
“Getting off to a good start to begin the New Year and in the game were important for us,” Turner said. “The girls did just that, bringing that stingy defense and jumping out to a 12-2 advantage after one quarter. When Lincoln-Way made a run, the girls kept their composure and took care of the ball.”
In the first quarter, it was Henderson and Adams who were able to get to both the basket and free throw line early on. The team built a 23-14 halftime advantage.
More pressure defense and a strong performance on the backboards in the third quarter continued to be the recipe for success for Stagg — as McMahon was impacting and affecting every facet of the game.
“Casey did a great job for us directing the offense,” Turner said. “She has become our floor general and handled the ball very well, all season long. That is a role we needed her to fill this season, besides relying on her scoring.
“And Mia has been very consistent and has provided the inside presence that we need.”
With Stagg ahead 34-21 heading into the fourth quarter, Lincoln-Way West made a run, but stellar free throw shooting allowed the Chargers to hold off the Warriors. Field goals by Adams and DiGiacomo helped extend the lead down the stretch.
Stagg also received contributions from senior Megan Hearne (four points, four rebounds) and sophomore Noor Elmosa (five points, four rebounds). According to Turner, the 35-18 edge of the glass was the best rebounding performance of the season.
Stagg will hit the road with six of their next seven conference games away.
“We play all blue division conference games the rest of the way,” he said. “Bolingbrook, Lockport, and Sandburg are up next on the schedule, so we’ll definitely continue to see what we’re made of.”
The Mighty Macs ended 2013 on a losing note, dropping a 57-46 decision to Evanston in the third place game of the Dundee-Crown Tournament on December 30.
Elizabeth Nye had 13 points and five assists to spark the McAuley (12-4) Raven Willis (11 points) and Erin Drynan (8 points, 9 rebounds) were the other standouts for the Mighty Macs.
However, McAuley began 2014 on a winning note, capturing a 59-45 non-conference battle against Crete-Monee on Saturday.
Standing tall for the team, against a team that possessed significant height was point guard Elizabeth Nye, who exploded for a game-high 34 points and eight assists. She went 6 of 6 from the charity stripe down the stretch, 15 of 18 in the fourth quarter and 21 of 24 for the game.
Fellow guard Molly O’Malley added 13 points, while Raven Willis had 13 rebounds as McAuley improved to 13-4. McAuley led just 40-38 when O’Malley nailed a three-pointer. The six free throws by Nye extended the team’s advantage to 49-38.
Despite a team-high 13 point effort by Kaycee Pittman and leading most of the first half, the Knights were edged by Lemont 44-40 on Saturday. Chicago Christian fell to 4-11 with the loss.