Hart, Maine West stretch win streak to seven
With a chance to win a 27th Central Suburban North championship looming on Thursday at Niles North, Maine West's girls basketball team had some business to take care of first in Des Plaines.
Senior Jordan Hart went to work early on Monday night, hitting a 3-pointer to start the game and the Warriors never looked back in a 56-43 nonconference win over visiting Elk Grove.
"Jordan hit that 3-pointer at the beginning, and that was nice," said Warriors coach Derril Kipp, who played all 14 girls on his roster for the fourth straight game. "That kind of set up things for us, and we were off and running."
The hosts ran off to a 26-9 lead midway through the second quarter when Hart, a 5-foot-11 southpaw shooting guard, hit her second 3-pointer.
"Jessica is playing very well this season," said Kipp of his team's second-leading scorer. "She's averaging double figures (11 points a game). She is getting some nice rebounds for us, too, and she is running the floor better. Sometimes she starts, sometimes she doesn't. It depends on the matchups."
West will go into Thursday's CSL North match with seven straight wins and 17-6 overall record (7-0 in conference).
Monday was the Warriors' third win in four days (Maine East on Friday and Brooks on Saturday).
"It can definitely be physically tiring but we came out with intensity in all three games," Hart said. "This was a good nonconference game for everyone to get playing time. It was a team effort and really have really been coming together as a team."
The seven wins a row is just one shy of all the games West won a year ago. when it finished 8-20.
"It's exciting," Hart said. "It's so much better than last year, and so much more fun, too."
Joining the fun this season has been freshman Rachel Kent, the team's leading scorer who had 10 points, 7 rebounds and a steal on Monday.
Sophomore guard Allison Pearson led the Warriors with 11 points while handing out a pair of assists.
Destiny Onyeise and Kayla Pociejewski came off the bench to score 6 and 5 points respectively while Monica Liwag had 6 rebounds and also scored 5 points, including a 3-pointer.
Sophomore Catherine Johnson pulled down 5 rebounds with 3 assists, 2 points and 2 steals.
"The past few games, everyone is playing and everyone scoring," Johnson said. "That's really helped us. It's not just a few players."
Other players scoring for West were Anne Lipinski, Acacia Hernandez, Liz Sanchez and Jessica Riedl.
Sophomore Bailey Smola's 16-footer got the Grenadiers (3-17) to within 9-4 with under two minutes left in the first quarter but West went on a 13-3 run to take control.
Riedl's 8-foot turnaround jumper made it 16-4 after one quarter.
EG junior Jenny Banak (6 points) led off the second quarter to close the gap to 16-7.
However, West got a bucket from Onyeise and two more from Kent to surge ahead again at 23-9.
Senior Sarah Pauscher finished with a team-high 9 points for EG. Senior Taylor Matos and junior Leilani Rivera came off the bench to score 6 and 5 points respectively while Carly Crothers, Alex Masnica and Mackenzie Flannery each scored 4.