El-Fiky, Hersey heat it up in win over Buffalo Grove

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/29/2019 8:45 PM
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Hersey sophomore Aya El-Fiky is an exchange student from Egypt who hadn't seen snow until this winter.

Now, for the next couple of days, she'll be dealing with by the far the coldest weather she's ever experienced, but that didn't stop her from heating up Ken Carter Gymnasium Tuesday night.

The sizzling hot play of El-Fiky led the Huskies to a big Mid-Suburban East girls basketball win, 55-40 over visiting Buffalo Grove.

El-Fiky, who came to the United States last August, scored 12 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and was outstanding on both ends of the court in the win.

"Aya is going to be subjected to 50-below wind chills," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "That's not going to be easy for her, and for her to play as well as she did tonight ... this weather is hard on everyone, but maybe especially on her.

"She was so strong today. Offensively, defensively and most importantly rebounding."

El-Fiky added 3 blocked shots to her impressive resume Tuesday.

"This was a very important game for us," she said. "We lost to Buffalo Grove the first time, and we needed to get it back. Our whole team did a great job."

Emily Collins led Hersey (16-9, 6-3) with 18 points while Macy Floro scored 16 for BG.

"I'm really disappointed that we didn't come ready to play," said Bison coach Stephen Kolodziej. "We knew what was at stake, and we're a team that has a lot of capabilities -- when we decide to play four quarters."

Janine Boyan and Mary McGrath scored 6 points each in the first half for Hersey as the Huskies stormed out of the gate, building up a 25-point lead.

BG was only 2-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half, but heated up in the third quarter. Floro had two third-quarter 3-pointers as the Bison matched the Huskies with 19 points apiece.

"We just came out strong," said Collins, a Hersey senior guard. "We obviously had a crazy day today (the game was moved up to a 5 p.m. start, but we really played together."

Hersey still led 50-29 heading into the final period but BG rallied, scoring 10 consecutive points in the first 2:40 of the quarter to get back in the game.

But El-Fiky stopped the Bison rally with a spinning, twisting layup in the paint, then the Hersey defense clamped down.

The Huskies allowed BG only 1 more point the rest of the way to secure the win, as the Bison missed their last eight 3-point attempts.

BG was only 7-of-29 from the perimeter, while the Huskies were an efficient 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

"We weren't scoring in the fourth quarter so we really had to pick it up on defense," added Collins. "We've been playing well recently. We had lost two conference games in a row, so we wanted to come out and play strong the rest of our conference season."

Collins and McGrath each had 4 assists for the Huskies, while Boyan finished with 10 points and Mary Kate Fahey added 8 points.

"We had a hard fourth quarter tonight," said Fendley, "but to their credit BG hit some big shots. They made it interesting but I really liked how we controlled those first three quarters. We were able to put points on the board, which is what we struggled with against them last time."

Kendra Lee posted 11 points for Buffalo Grove.

"Unfortunately in the third quarter tonight we just exchanged baskets with them,' said Kolodziej. "They had nine offensive rebounds in the first half and eight or nine post touches, and we had talked about that. You've got to give credit to them because they showed up to play, and we didn't."

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