2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 11/20/2013 12:55 AM

Wilson connects, but Harlan tops Hoffman Estates

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Monraia Wilson has worn No. 14 since she started playing basketball in the third grade.

She is a White Sox fan, and her favorite player is slugger Paul Konerko, who just happens to also wear No. 14.

Wilson hit a home run in her varsity debut on Tuesday night.

The Hoffman Estates 5-foot-6 freshman guard scored a team-high 13 points in a 47-32 loss to Harlan.

Wilson also had three 3-pointers, 10 rebounds and 3 steals in the opening-round game of the inaugural Hoffman Estates Thanksgiving Tournament.

"She (Wilson) is going to be good," said Harlan coach Eddie Niles, whose Falcons won the Lake Park-Hoffman Estates-Elk Grove tourney two years ago. "She was trying to attack our zone and did a good job. She is going to be awesome the next four years."

Wilson's 3-pointer got Hoffman to within 10-8 in the first quarter but Harlan went on a 10-0 run to pull away 20-8.

However, the stubborn Hawks wouldn't go away and got to within 20-18 when Wilson hit her second 3-pointer with 2:14 left in the first half.

"I knew she (Wilson) was going to be good," said Hoffman coach Mike Nocella. "She still has a couple of things to learn. But as far as taking the ball to the basket and scoring, that's something she can do right now.

"She's only a freshman, so it's hard to be a leader. But she will learn and recognize different things as time goes on."

Taking a pass from 5-9 junior guard-forward Mary Saitta (9 rebounds), Wilson scored the first basket of the second half to tie the game 20-20.

But the Falcons followed with a 13-2 run to take control.

"Our defense was getting tired and we got lazy," Wilson said.

"It was nerve-wracking," she added about her first varsity game. " I didn't know if I'd be on varsity. I know I have to improve. But I enjoyed it."

In addition to Wilson, Nocella also started freshman Maya Bowens (5-10 forward), sophomore Erin Hanson (5-6 guard), Saitta and Andrea Wolinski (5-6 senior guard-forward).

Wolinski had 6 points and 3 assists as the Hawks out-rebounded Harlan 45-34.

"Defensively, I thought we did a nice job," Nocella said. "We had to go to man-to-man at the end because of the clock. We gave them too many breakaway layups."

Senior guards Alesha Booker and Medina Kenyatta led Harlan with 8 points apiece.

"In the second half we just started attacking the gaps of their zone," Niles said. "And we did a good job sharing the ball. I think we totaled 14 assists.

"We started making layups and that's when we opened up the game."

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