Kipp's comeback kids do it again as Maine West edges Hoffman Estates

 
 
Updated 11/17/2015 10:23 PM

Less than 24 hours after recovering from a 9-point deficit to defeat Wheeling, Maine West's girls basketball team decided to make things slightly more difficult on Tuesday.

The Warriors fell behind Hoffman Estates by 14 points early in the third quarter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But just like the night before, they finally grabbed their first lead in the fourth quarter and ended up pulling away to a 52-42 victory in the opening round of the Hoffman Estates Thanksgiving tournament.

It was the Warriors' full court press which once again helped turn the tide in the second half.

Senior Jordan Hart's 17-footer got West to within 40-39 with 5:57 left in the game.

The Warriors took the lead for good on sophomore Destiny Onyeise's 10-footer in the lane (41-40) before Hart struck again with a 3-pointer for a 44-40 cushion with 4:47 left.

"We seem to do better under pressure," said Hart (5 points), also a key member of the Warriors' volleyball and softball teams. "We have to have a more of a drive to win early in the game."

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"Jordan was a big contributor," said Maine West coach Derril Kipp. "She turned the game around right there when we needed it."

Freshman Rachel Kent turned in another big effort, scoring eight of her game-high 26 points in the final quarter while sophomore Catherine Johnson added 4 of her 12 points in the final eight minutes.

Kent's 50 points this season are just 8 points less than West scored as a team in its first two games last year.

"We've got to start playing right from the start," said Kent, who also had 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals and 1 blocked shot.

Hoffman (0-1) was playing from the start as the Hawks built their lead to 14-5 when junior guard Monraia Wilson connected for a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left in the first quarter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

West (2-0) got back to within 16-12 forcing Hawks coach Mike Koesterto call for a time out.

His girls responded with an 8-0 run, getting baskets from Tayler Williams (7 points), Erin Hanson (10 points), Mynk Richardson-Clerk (7 points) and 2 free throws from Hanson for a 24-12 lead with 1:54 left in the first half.

"Mynk played very well offensively," Koester said. "And Jennifer Nailor played very well on both sides of the floor. She did a nice job defending No. 15 (Kent) most of the time and she played well on offense."

Nailor's bucket with 7:31 left in the third quarter gave Hoffman its 31-17 advantage.

But West slowly began cutting into the lead.

"We came out aggressively," said Wilson, who missed most of the fourth quarter after taking an accidental elbow to the nose. "But then we started missing some shots, and we let it get to us and began losing our chemistry.

"We've just got to come back and pick it up on Thursday (vs. Christ The King High School in Chicago, which opened in 2008 with 120 freshmen)."

The Warriors cut the lead in half by the end of the third quarter as Kent's 14-footer made it 40-33 with 1:12 left.

Using its full court press, the Warriors limited Hoffman to one fastbreak layup by Kate Mongold in the fourth quarter while outscoring the Hawks 19-2.

"We just didn't played with very good composure in the fourth quarter," Koester said. "We didn't handle their press very well and turned the ball over. And we gave them a lot of second shots."

Johnson (3 assists, 2 steals) led the Warriors with 10 rebounds followed by Onyneise (6), Eliza Palarz (5), Hart (3), Acacia Hernandez (3) and Kayla Pociejewski (3), who also had 3 assists.

"We couldn't buy a basket in the first quarter," Kipp added. "And 13 turnovers was bad. We were trying to force the offense and doing things that weren't there. And we weren't rebounding like we should."

But the Warriors sure rebounded from a big deficit -- for the second straight night.

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