Maine West gets by Glenbrook South to reach sectional final
Maine West girls basketball coach Kim deMarigny took her 30-win squad into Evanston for a Class 4A sectional semifinal against a Glenbrook South unit that was looking to extend the career of its retiring head coach Steve Weissenstein one more time as it did last Thursday in a last-second regional final victory over New Trier.
And with just a little over two minutes having ticked off the clock in the second half things were looking good for the Titans as a layup by senior guard Libble Vanderveen had GBS within 22-20 of Maine West.
Then 6-foot-4 junior center Angela Dugalic helped ignite the Warrior engines that went on full blast, which turned off the Titans' power plant for the season as Maine West moved to 31-0 with a 60-46 win over No. 5 seed Glenbrook South at Beardsley Gym Monday evening.
With the win the top-seeded Warriors moved on to Thursday night's sectional final against an Evanston team it has beaten twice already this season. The third-seeded Wildkits (24-7) bested No. 2 seed Loyola Academy (24-8) 48-35 in Monday's second game.
The Titans (23-8) held Maine West to its lowest point total of the season. At halftime, deMarigny was frank with her team.
"I told them that if they continued to play like this that they'll be washing their uniforms tomorrow morning and turning them into me," she said.
It was at this point where Dugalic piloted the Maine West attack. A drive inside the paint followed by a putback launched a 14 point third quarter for her and a decisive 18-5 run that left the Warriors ahead 40-25 with around one minute left in the period.
GBS would get no closer than the final margin of victory the rest of the way as Dugalic led all scorers with 24 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. St. Louis University recruit Rachel Kent followed with 18 points and 10 boards while junior guard Dylan Van Fleet added 11 points for the Warriors. Vanderveen led South with 14.
On the defensive end, Maine West held GBS to just 9 of 25 (36 percent) from the field during that span and 16 of 48 (25 percent) for the game.
Dugalic credits Evanston's remodeling of the floor at Beardsley Gym to accommodate Northwestern University's women's basketball team using it as their home court due to renovations at Welsh-Ryan Arena last season that enlarged the playing dimensions to be in compliance with an NCAA floor that created trouble with its trapping defense early on.
"It was easier to get the ball out because the court was bigger," Dugalic said. "So once we stopped trapping we just played man-to-man on ball. It all went uphill just because we're very disciplined in that I think we did a very good job at that."
At the completion of the contest, Weissenstein was lauded in a postgame announcement to a huge round of applause by all in attendance. A 1979 Prospect graduate, Weissenstein finished a 30-year head coaching career at South in which he coached both the Titan boys (9 years) and girls (21 years) varsity teams. A 2015 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee, he totaled 533 wins that featured 8 regional titles and a 2004 Class AA supersectional berth.
He expressed a deep appreciation for his last team.
"I'm just glad that I got to go out with this group. We won 23 games where we battled a lot of injuries," Weissenstein said. "They're an amazing group who battled the whole year."