Maine West rolls to another regional title
Scores can sometimes be deceiving.
It's not that defending Class 4A girls basketball state champion Maine West didn't have a lopsided 60-32 win over host Niles West in the regional finals Thursday in Skokie. It was that Warriors hold themselves to a higher standard of play.
"We didn't capitalize on the other end as much as we should have," Maine West coach Kim deMarigny said. "We would turn it over or take a quick shot. Our defense creates a lot of our offense."
It was the 28th regional title for Maine West (27-3). It was also the fourth in a row for the Warriors, who will host Loyola on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Maine West sectional.
"We are very happy to be returning to Maine West for a sectional for a change," deMarigny said. "But we have a whole lot of work to do before now and then. Nothing is a given."
Maine West forced 26 turnovers, 10 of which came in the first quarter. The Warriors also missed numerous shots from right around the basket. deMarigny said that her team could have produced better on the offensive end.
"I just think our shot selection wasn't what we would have liked it to have been," deMarigny said. "I am not out on the floor with them so I didn't get to see what they got to see. They made a decision and they have to live with the decisions they make. We did discuss that at halftime."
By halftime, Maine West was in complete control.
The Warriors had scored the first 8 points of the game on their way to a 15-3 advantage. Despite forcing 10 turnovers in the quarter, the Warriors led just 18-9 thanks to a trio of 3-pointers by Niles West (10-20).
Maine West got out on the perimeter much better from there, as the Warriors led 33-16 at the break.
It appeared that the Warriors would put Niles West away in the third quarter when Maine West rattled off 12 consecutive points to lead 49-20. Niles West had other ideas.
Playing for a bit of pride on their home court, the Wolves made sure that the game did not go to a running clock.
Oregon commit Angela Dugalic led Maine West with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
"It is really meaningful to be winning my senior season," said Dugalic, who broke the school record for field goals and tied another record for most wins by an individual player.
"I really don't care about that stuff (school records). My main focus is getting better as a team and finishing off these games and hopefully win them."
Dylan VanFleet, who had 21 points, 14 of which came in the first half, said that her team is focusing on its play.
"We just want to come out of the games playing hard," VanFleet said. "We would like to get back downstate. I know that is the goal of every team. We have to look at each game like it is our last, because it really could be. We have to play the hardest we can."
Melissa Gomez added 10 points for Maine West.