2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/13/2018 7:51 PM

St. Ignatius rallies past Hersey 49-40

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Hersey's came out hitting 3-pointers left and right against St. Ignatius in the newly renamed Coach Kipp's Hoopsfest on Saturday afternoon at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park.

In the opening 10 minutes, the Huskies connected for five 3-pointers from four different players and led 23-13 with 4:34 left in the second quarter.

However, the Mid-Suburban East girls basketball co-leaders couldn't find the basket again until Erin McGrath hit a 16-footer with 5:06 left in the third quarter.

McGrath's basket snapped a 12-0 run by the Wolfpack (14-5), who went on to post a 49-40 triumph over Hersey, which was coming off an emotional 49-41 win at Rolling Meadows less than 24 hours earlier.

"I think we were physically exhausted from playing the night before," said Huskies coach Mary Fendley, whose team (10-10) is surely a candidate for the best .500 team in the state. "It was definitely an emotional win for us (Friday night at Meadows).

"Our focus for weeks had been on that game and maybe we put everything we had into that game and we just couldn't rally today. The fire just wasn't lit under us today."

Junior Molly Gannon lit it for St. Ignatius with a game-high 18 points and four 3-pointers.

Hersey was led by senior guard Claire Rogowski, whose 13 points included three 3-pointers, the first of which put the Huskies in front 17-10 early in the second quarter.

"We had a very quick start," said the senior guard. "Our momentum from the night before was carrying over. It felt good just to come out strong and show that we were meant to be here and that it's not a fluke that we are competing with the top teams."

Rogowski and her sisters Megan and Kelly, played in Kipp's AAU program.

Derril's wife, Marianne, was on hand Saturday for Jim O'Boye's 28th annual showcase event now named for the late Maine West hall of fame coach.

"I am thrilled we were able to be part of a tournament named after Derril," Fendley said. " I feel so fortunate to have learned so much from him in the two years I worked at Maine West. He gave so much to the game.

"I believe no individual did more to grow girls basketball in Illinois than he did. I, like so many, are indebted to him."

Senior Erin McGrath added 7 points and 10 rebounds for Hersey. "Erin found a way to play some defense and rebound," Fendley said.

McGrath also tossed in one of the Huskies' seven 3-pointers in the game.

Classmate Maesyn Benjamin (5 points) had one and Mary Kate Fahey (4 rebounds) tossed home her first two attempts from long range on Saturday.

"She (Fahey) really lit it up for them (five 3-pointers) on Friday," said St. Ignatius coach Cara Doyle, the aunt of former Benet star Kathleen Doyle, now playing for Iowa. "We subbed our freshman (5-8 guard Lauren McDonald) in there to match up with (Fahey) and told her to get to know another friend for three years. That was a good battle."

McDonald finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds.

"Hersey is a nice team," said Doyle, whose club coincidentally defeated MSL West co-leader Fremd a week earlier at the Chicagoland Invitational Classic at Benet. "I knew they (Hersey) had a big win on Friday night and it's hard to go back-to-back. But they a real nice team. They're very lengthy. I think they outrebounded us (36-35) so we were glad to walk away with that win."

The Huskies walked out of the gym looking forward to the second half of MSL East play.

"We have to be ready for Wheeling (on Friday)," Rogowski said. "They had a big win over Prospect. We needed that win over Rolling Meadows. It totally boosted our confidence and makes us feel a little better going into the second half of the conference season."

Sophomore Janine Boyan came off the bench to hit a key bucket in the second quarter and the 6-foot forward collected 4 rebounds. Senior Katie McGrath had 5 points and 5 rebounds.

"I don't fault our effort," Fendley said. "We had a nice start getting that 10-point lead but that was also a lot of 3-pointers. Once they stopped falling, we had a hard time getting into rhythm.

"We also had a hard time defending No. 5 (Gannon). She is a nice player. I'm just proud of the way we tried to rally after such a big emotional win the day before. St. Ignatius is another ranked team. With our tough schedule, we just want to keep getting better for conference games. Win or lose, we learn from games like this."

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