2013-'14 Season Coverage
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Pickerington ices Maine West

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Pickerington ices Maine West

Maine West's IHSA Hall of Famer Derril Kipp still remembers his first game coaching in Jim O'Boye's first girls basketball shootout 24 years ago at Illinois-Chicago.

His Warriors, who were Class AA state champs just three years earlier, earned an impressive win over a state-ranked Marshall squad.

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"All I remember is the floor was freezing," Kipp said. "They had just converted it from a hockey rink to the basketball floor."

Kipp has coached on all the floors where O'Boye has directed this girls shootout (now the McDonald's Shootout) since 1991.

It moved to Northwestern, DePaul and now Willowbrook High School, where Kipp's Warriors fell 60-20 on Saturday to traditional Ohio state power Pickerington North High School.

Kipp is the only person to coach at the event in all 24 years.

"Derril is one of the guys who encouraged me to start a girls shootout," O'Boye said. "He, Dave Power (Hall of Fame Fenwick coach) and Steve Tucker (former Sun-Times sports writer) knew I was planning to end the boys shootout that I did for four years at UIC.

"And they knew I had daughters coming up to play basketball at Immaculate Heart of Mary. So they suggested starting a shootout for the girls."

While Kipp has coached in all 24, St. Ignatius is the only team to play in every one.

"Next year, I was planning on matching up Maine West and St. Ignatius," said the always-creative O'Boye, who lined up state powerhouses Rolling Meadows and Marian Catholic on Monday at 6 p.m. in a rematch of last year's dramatic Class 4A state title game won by the Spartans in the final second.

Maine West's match with Pickerington got tougher on Saturday when the Warriors 6-foot-3 St. Francis Joliet-bound Julia Huinker did not play in the second half.

"She bumped her head on the floor (late in the first half) and we didn't want to play her in the second half," Kipp said. "That took us out of our offense and the things we can do.

"We had a hard time getting Brittany (Collins) the ball because they'd have three people on her."

Collins got the ball a lot in the first half, and scored Maine West's first 10 points as the Warriors trailed 21-10.

West didn't have anyone else score until sophomore Monica Liwag (1:53) and senior Abbey Herling (1:06) hit 15 footers in the final two minutes of the second quarter.

After a 3-pointer and free throw by Panthers 5-foot-4 junior guard Aubrey Lukacsko, Pickerington led 25-14 at intermission.

The Panthers pulled away gradually in the second half.

"Not having Julia didn't help," said Warriors senior guard Erin Ross, "Losing her height hurt us. They (Pickerington play tough. They were good shooters and good rebounders. We just have to get back in the gym and get ready for our next games."

Saturday's game featured two coaches with a combined 1,443 wins.

Kipp has won 756 in his 33 years while Panthers coach Dave Butcher had collected 687, along with six Division I state title in his 15 years at Pickerington Central and eight at North.

"I've know him for a long time," Kipp said. "He's coached at McDonald's All American games, too. He always has good teams. He had three good players out with injuries, too."

Lukacsko put on quite a show, striking for a game-high 21 points and five 3-pointers in 23 minutes of action.

Collins finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, giving her a double-double in 18 of the Warriors' 19 games.

"She has been tripled team almost all the time," said Kipp, of his school's all-time leading scorer. "I'm really happy I've gotten to coach her all four years. I think she is going to have a great career at St. Xavier and can really make a difference for them."

Senior Kelly Adamek grabbed 7 rebounds for the Warriors while junior Michelle Fox came off the bench and pulled down 3.

Huinker handed out 4 assists and grabbed 2 rebounds before leaving the game.

"Our kids weren't ready to play all weekend," said Kipp, whose club (11-8) lost at Niles North 66-60 on Friday night. "There's nothing you can do about that. We have to be clicking on all cylinders with all five players."

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