Posted On: 03/2/19 9:01 AM
The IHSA Class 4A state championship and third-place game is set with Mother McAuley eyeing to end Maine West’s undefeated season.
Mother McAuley 48, Benet Academy 38.
McAuley led for the Majority of the game but had to withstand a strong Benet charge coming out of half time. An Ashley Konkle free throw got the Redwings within one, but McAuley’s pesky defense only allowed eight fourth quarter points and they knocked down their free throws in crunch time to escape with a win and trip to the finals.
The difference in the game: Free Throw shooting. With McAuley struggling from the floor (36% FG, 23% 3FG), they relied on driving to the lane and drawing fouls to get to the charity stripe, converting on 21 of 27 attempts. Benet, on the other hand, only got to the line 19 times and converted on 8 (42.1%).
MVP: Jenna Badali – 21 points (3-7/0-3/15-17); 6 rebounds, 2 assists.
Benet impression: Like coach Joe Kilbride mentioned in the post-game press conference, Benet just wasn’t themselves in this game. They had been playing as well as anyone in the last month, but McAuley’s defense never allowed them to get in a rhythm to where they were able to execute their game plan. Brooke Schramek (2020) and Kendall Holmes (2020) led the team offensively, but there just wasn’t enough scoring to keep pace with McAuley.
McAuley impression: The relentless defense that McAuley plays is so fun to watch, but so terrible to play against. Guards Nikki Murphy (2019) and Jenna Badali (2020) pick up their player full court and trap when they see an opportunity, and they do this all game. Grace Hynes (2019) is only 5’9’’ but has the strength and quickness to match up with most post-players.
Maine West 56, Hononegah 32.
The number one team in the state got off to a 23-5 first quarter lead and it was too much for Hononegah to come back from. Dylan Van Fleet (2020) was on fire from the tip and paced Maine West with 17 first quarter points and finished with 23 for the game.
The difference in the game: The hot start. Hononegah is a very talented team with a super-star in Jordan King, but there was just no coming back on a team as good as Maine West that shot the ball as well as they did early on.
MVP: Dylan Van Fleet – 23 points (10-18, 3-7) 5 rebounds, 5 assists.
Maine West impression: The Warriors showed no nerves on the big stage and shot lights out early and never looked back. Typically, its Angela Dugalic (2020) or Rachel Kent (2019) leading the charge, but with Van Fleet having such a dominant night, the two could play within themselves and assume different roles to help the team win. The defense rose to the challenge of stopping Marquette bound Jordan King and made the night anything but easy for her.
Hononegah impression: I was very excited to see Honenegah play for the first time, and Jordan King (2019) is as good as advertised. Even when the shots weren’t falling, she showed all the signs of a D1 bound player. Point Guard Julia Burns (2020) is very smooth and quick with the ball in her hands and a willing defender. I look for them to come back and give Benet a tough game in the 3rd Place Game.