2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 12/16/2016 10:09 PM

Wachal sparks Conant past Barrington

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With less than two minutes left in the first quarter, sophomore guard Tori Meyer's 15-foot basket brought Barrington's girls basketball team into a tie with host Conant at 7-7.

But in the final 1:03 of the period, the Cougars not only broke the tie, they took the lead for good with a 7-0 run in the Mid-Suburban West contest.

Not surprisingly, Jorie Wachal, one of the league's top scorers over the past few years, was right in the middle of Conant's scoring spree.

She hit 2 free throws to make it 9-7 before classmate Michelle Benson fired home a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left.

Wachal then rebounded her own miss and tossed it back in just before the buzzer to give Conant a 14-7 lead en route to a 53-29 triumph in Hoffman Estates.

"We all played well together," said Wachal, who finished with a game-high 21 points, including 9-of-12 free throws. "Everyone chipped in, knocking downs shots and playing well. This was a nice win, especially after last Friday (a 53-29 loss to Fremd). We learned from that game that we can compete with anyone in the conference if we play hard."

Conant's lead grew to 18-10 midway through the second quarter when junior Cate Fitzgerald sank 2 free throws. Two free throws by classmate Amanda Klingsporn with 1.5 seconds left sent the Cougars into intermission leading 22-15.

"When we come out strong, we play with so much more confidence," said Conant coach Deirdre Naughton, whose team improved to 3-7 and 2-1 in the MSL West. "Barrington's record (1-9, 1-2) is deceiving. That No. 42 (Taylor Thompson) is tough. She has such a soft tough. If the ball hits the rim, it's going in."

It went in six times from the field and once at the free throw line as the 5-foot-10 freshman led Barrington with 13 points.

Thompson had 12 of Barrington 13 points in the middle quarters.

"We definitely had to focus more on her in the second half," Naughton said. "And the girls responded to that. We played great help side defense and we needed it against her tonight."

Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro liked the effort of Thompson and her teammates.

"Taylor was gutsy," said the dean of Mid-Suburban League girls basketball coaches, now in her 24th season. "I thought they were hanging all over her and she did a nice job converting."

Meyer finished with 7 points and senior Maggie O'Donnell added 5 for the Fillies.

"We just have to play better defense," Barreiro said. "The effort is always there from these kids. They don't give up. I love these kids but I think we are capable of more than we showed this game. Not to take anything away Conant. They played hard."

The Cougars played hard on the boards where 5-foot-11 Ania Baker led the way with 9 rebounds followed by Wachal (8). Junior Taylor Cyr, who returned two weeks ago from a sprained ankle, came off the bench and grabbed 5 rebounds.

Conant put the game away at the start of the second half when it scored the first 12 points, including six straight from 5-foot-5 senior guard Brittany Laskero (two driving layups and a 17-footer from the baseline).

"Brittany has been doing a great job," Naughton said. "She's aggressive and reads things well on when to take it to the basket.

"We are pushing for our other girls to take it to the basket. Because if teams are going to put all their attention on Jorie (Wachal), we want to make sure the other players have opportunities to score."

Wachal, who has scored 20 or more points in four games this season, wants to play the sport in college but still has not chosen a school. She would like to study civil engineering.

"I thought Cecilia Stack and Conforti did a nice job on her (Wachal) for about three quarters," Barreiro said.

Wachal scored 10 of her points in the game's final 11 minutes.

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