Conant's girls basketball team went on the road Saturday for a Mid-Suburban West game Saturday.
In recent years, that hasn't been a very successful venture.
But the Cougars rose to the occasion Saturday in Hoffman Estates.
Led by freshman guard Nireet Dhillon (15 points on 5 3-pointers), sophomore guard Lexi Zades (11 points) and sophomore guard/forward Katie Lomas (10 points), the Cougars topped the Hawks 59-54 for their fifth win in seven games.
"That's our first conference win in several years," said Cougars coach Dan Travers, whose team improved to 8-11 and 1-4 in the MSL West. "It's very special. The girls did a nice job against a quality team like Hoffman Estates (9-8, 3-2). I'm very proud of them."
Sophomore Haley Anderson added 9 points and junior Sarah Mazurek 7 for the Cougars, who received clutch free throw shooting from Lomas and Zades to seal the game.
"We played good team defense on the perimeter," Travers said. "Sidney O'Keeffe, Lexi Zades and Sarah Mazurek did a good job pressuring the ball."
Hoffman Estates was led by Destinee Young, who scored 23 points with 14 rebounds. She has scored 22 or more points and collected double-figure rebounds in her last four games.
Senior Becca Stoczynski added 15 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals for the Hawks. Andrea Wolinski had 5 points and 4 assists while Shante Hill chipped in 8 points.
Conant led 47-35 after three quarters.
"Nireet knocked down some big 3-point shots for us," Travers said. "Kudos to Haley Anderson, Katie Lomas and Dee Dee Durr who battled their outstanding posts and gave us a chance to win.
"The girls are getting it together and believing in each other. They are playing good team basketball and we are getting good bench play."
Palatine 40, Barrington 37: Senior McKenzie Wiedemann scored a career-high 25 points with 4 rebounds and 3 steals as Palatine (17-5, 4-2) avenged an earlier 33-32 loss at Barrington in the Mid-Suburban West.
"McKenzie has really stepped up since Nia (Pappas) got hurt (ankle injury three weeks ago)," said Pirates coach Leslie Schock. "She played real well at both ends of the floor. She held Angie Kirchoff to 4 points and really put forth a great effort."
Wiedemann was also 5-of-6 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
"McKenzie took smart shots in the flow of the game," Schock said. "She carried us on offense."
Erin Mayer also grabbed 4 rebounds for the Pirates while Morgan Radtke had 3. Monica Masini and Pappas, playing her second game since the ankle injury, each had 4 assists.
Alexa Resch led the Fillies (12-8, 3-3) with 10 points, converting 8-of-12 free throws while teammate Brooke Gunderson added 7 points and Bryana Hopkins 6.
Fremd 48, Schaumburg 36: Fremd celebrated senior night in winning style on Saturday.
Ashley McConnell, Bernie Williams, Marilyn Lortz, Catherine Ernst, Sydney Sek, Emma Hanson and Ashanti Lewis were honored before the game and then all saw action on the floor.
"It might be one of the earliest senior nights we have ever had, but that just the way the schedule fell," said Fremd coach Dave Yates.
"This senior group has experienced a bunch of success during their time and they have helped carry the torch in making us a strong Basketball program," Yates said. "They have worked very hard and don't get flustered, which is a great characteristic to have finishing up the month of January."
After falling behind 13-10 in the first period, the MSL West leaders (18-4, 4-1) outscored the Saxons 18-8 in the second quarter.
McConnell tossed home a game-high 24 points while sophomore Haley Gorecki added 16.
"After a bit of a tough start, we got things going in the second quarter," Yates said. "We put together some stops and fastbreaks and got the lead back and extended it. I thought our defense was excellent the last 28 minutes of the game."
McConnell tossed home a game-high 24 points (20 in the first half) while sophomore Haley Gorecki added 16 as the Vikes led by as many as 20 points in the final quarter.
Gorecki was playing in her second game since returning from an ankle injury suffered seven games into the season.
"Ashley played lights-out in first half," Yates said. "Haley is getting back to her old self each time she steps on the court. You don't miss a month and jump right back in perfect shape, but she is progressing steadily."
Schaumburg was led by Amanda Kelly, who scored 17 points, including a half-court shot just prior to the final buzzer.
Riley Williams chipped in 8 points the Saxons (9-11, 1-4).
Hersey 49, Wheeling 28: Junior Morgan Harris (18 points), sophomore Annie Korff (8) and senior Ashley Raulli (8) were top scorers for host Hersey which improved to 11-7 and 3-2 in the MSL East.
Hersey, which led 33-10 at half, limited Wheeling to no more than 6 points in each of the first three quarters.
"I thought we did a good job defensively," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "We shared the ball well on offense, and rebounded effectively the whole game."
Seniors Meg Cerniglia and Erica Hill each grabbed 6 rebounds for Hersey while junior Renee Poulos had 5. Senior Casey Weyhrich collected 4 steals.
Wheeling (7-14, 1-4) was led by sophomore guard Hannah Dobrowski's 6 points, all at the free throw line.
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