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Glenbrook South's Colleen McDonagh can talk defense all day.
She's covered some of the best guards in the area, including Niles West's Jewel Loyd, New Trier's Maggie Lyon and Wheaton North's Fantasia Vine.
Add to that list Hersey's Megan Rogowski on Saturday afternoon at the Titan Dome in Glenview.
"I've kind of been focusing on defense the last two seasons," McDonagh said. "I try to take pride in it. I come in knowing my job is to hold down the top players from the other team."
"Colleen loves the challenge," said Glenbrook South coach Steve Weissenstein. "She wants to watch films of other players so she can pick up on their tendencies. She is so smart. She knows the game."
Opponents must realize she also knows the other part of the game. Don't dismiss McDonagh's offensive skills.
The 5-foot-9 junior guard equaled her career-high of 18 points — including a personal high-five 3-pointers — to help the Titans (12-6) stun visiting Hersey 50-44 and ending the Huskies' 13-game winning streak.
"Colleen played fantastic," Weissenstein said. "She hit 3s, and she did a great job on Rogowski (game-high 19 points). She held her down as much as you can."
Rogowski, who averages 23.9 ppg, converted a huge 5-point play (3-pointer, then fouled after the shot and hit 2 free throws) with 3:14 left in the game to give Hersey (16-4) a 43-40 lead.
But as it seemed she had done the whole game, McDonagh came back and answered with a 3-pointer (43-43 tie) to get the momentum back for the Titans.
South got the lead for good when senior Ali Shaw hit a 6-footer with 1:39 left in the game. Then classmate Kelly Minx's 3-point play, following a missed free throw by Hersey, made it 48-44 with 1:20 left.
Hersey committed 3 turnovers in the final 1:06 and fell for the first time since a loss at Conant on Dec 1.
"Any time you lose, you come out with some things to work on and now we have things to work on," said Huskies coach Mary Fendley. "They (Glenbrook South) just played better than us today. We had an off day on offense and I'd rather have it in a nonconference game than conference."
Hersey's first and only field goal in the first quarter came when Maggie Hogen sank a 10-foot hook shot with two minutes.
South led 4-3 after one quarter but trailed 17-16 at intermission, thanks to Hogen's 8-foot bank shot off an inbounds pass with 15 seconds left.
Hogen's hook shot never looked better as the junior forward tossed in a season-high 15 points.
"Hogen made some big shots," Weissenstein added. "Obviously, Hersey is a great team. The nice thing for us was that every time they made a run, we responded with a big shot."
And McDonagh provided a lot of them.
"Our coach does a great job of scouting," McDonagh said. "He always has us prepared.
"It's the other four girls on the floor helping me. There is always someone there. If I'm screened out, I know I will get help."
Minx helped the Titans with 13 points while Shaw added 10.
South's lineup features four girls 6-foot or taller.
"For sure, they're one of the tallest teams we've faced," Fendley said. "At times, I would have subbed differently if it would not have presented match-up problems because of their height.
"Our biggest problem was not communicating on defense. And offensively we just weren't on. Our ballhandling was not sharp."
The Huskies don't have to wait long to start a new winning streak. They get the chance Monday night when St. Viator visits for a 7 p.m. Season's End tourney game.
Glenbrook South gets another big test on Thursday when its visits undefeated Libertyville.
"We had to play our 'A' game to beat Hersey," Weissenstein said. "And we did."
Give McDonagh an A-plus.