With 6:15 left in the fourth quarter, Maine West's Amanda Hoye tossed up a 10-footer from the baseline which hit the rim, and literally seemed glued to it for a full second.
"I was scared, I didn't know which way it would fall," Hoye said.
The 5-foot-5 junior point guard should have known she had little to worry about on this night.
The ball finally fell promptly inside the net, just like 12 of her 14 shots in the game which gave her a career-high 25 points in the Warriors' 59-45 triumph over visiting Glenbrook North (5-13, 1-4) on Friday night.
Maine West improved to 5-14 and 4-1 in the Central Suburban North with its eyes still clearly looking toward a girls basketball conference title.
Hoye's 25-point effort, which included a 3-pointer in the second quarter, came on the heels of her previous career-high of 24 points against Regina in West's last game at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic.
"Amanda has been playing much better the last few games," said Maine West Hall of Fame coach Derril Kipp, now in his 30th season. "For every team, it all starts with the point guard."
Hoye started the Warriors' scoring as she drove for a layup with 6:52 left in the opening quarter.
A driving layup by freshman Brittany Collins gave the Warriors the lead for good at 11-10. Hoye found Collins moments for another layup and 13-10 lead.
The lead increased to 17-10 on a 16-foot swish by Hoye and 10-foot jumper by Collins with 1:28 left in the first quarter.
Collins finished with 14 points, 12 in the first half, and 9 rebounds.
"It's definitely exciting to have a tall person like Brittany inside," said Hoye, who also had 5 assists and 3 steals. "She makes things easier for us. This win helps us a lot for conference because we can still win it if we continue to play well."
Hoye is always confident about playing well against Glenbrook North.
"I like playing them because I am confident," she said. "I remember a game as a sophomore when I had a career-high 14 points at Glenbrook North. So I always feel good playing them."
The Spartans came back to within 26-23 with 3:25 left in the first half, but West went on an 18-2 run to take control and allow Kipp to empty his bench.
"When we were starting to come back, we missed three open layups and that's a 6-point swing," said Spartans coach Renee Brosnan. "Amanda Hoye hit everything from outside. She's a great player and the freshman (Collins) was tough inside."
"We didn't go to Brittany as much as we usually do," Kipp said. "But she's a force inside. This is the first game she's had to play with some foul trouble."
After sophomore guard Sammie Von Rueden hit a 3-pointer and driving layup to get North to within 26-23, Collins' rebound bank shot got the Warriors rolling to their 18-2 run.
Senior Stephanie O'Neill hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 2:01 to give the Warriors a 34-23 lead at the break.
Senior forward Katherine Kusner (5 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists) made sure their was no letdown when the Warriors returned to the floor, scoring on a driving layup less than a minute into the third quarter.
Hoye then hit three of the next four baskets for West which led 44-25 with 3:38 left in the third period.
"We have a new play in our offense against the zone defense," Hoye said. "It helps us get more movement in the offense, which we had been lacking."
Kennelly, O'Neill and Nicole Burkhardt each finished with 3 rebounds.
"We are playing much better and the younger kids are getting experience," said Kipp, whose team started out 0-8. "I think we might get some more wins and surprise some people in the second half of the season. It's great so far. We haven't lost this year (2011) yet."
Marist 60, St. Viator 46: JeTaun Rouse is one of the top players in the Chicago area and the Marist sophomore guard showed why in Cahill Gymnasium on Friday night.
In the first half, she used one hand to haul in an alley-oop pass and tossed it up against the backboard for a layup and 30-17 lead with 1:30 left in the first half.
Then as the clock wound down, Rouse tossed in a half-court 3-pointer at the second-quarter buzzer to give the Marist a 37-21 lead at the break.
Rouse finished with 23 points while teammate Leah Bolton added 22 as Marist won its 13th game and improved to 3-2 in the East Suburban Catholic.
With 2:56 left in the first quarter, Viator public address announcer Tom Hohenadel said. "Entering the St. Viator lineup for the first time in five weeks, Taylor Skala"."
The Rockhurst University recruit made a steal and layup with 2:15 left in the first half for her first points since suffering a bad ankle sprain in the first quarter against Hofman Estates on Dec. 13 at the Cahill.
The Lions, who visit Resurrection today at 7 p.m., are 10-8 and 1-2 in the ESCC.
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