Hersey keeps rolling, downs Schaumburg to move to 6-0
Not too many things have been able to slow down the No. 1 ranked Hersey girls basketball team in this abbreviated 2021 season.
But waiting for a late bus to take the Huskies' squad to their Mid-Suburban League crossover contest at Schaumburg Saturday night did a throw a bit of an obstacle in Hersey's path to facing the Saxons.
Hersey did look a bit sluggish in taking a slim 13-11 lead over Schaumburg after one quarter. But the Huskies more than made up for that as a 24-point run during the second quarter helped stake the visitors to a commanding 43-18 halftime lead.
From there, Hersey wound up coasting to a 58-33 victory in a low-scoring second half as the Huskies improved their perfect record to 6-0 on the campaign.
Schaumburg (1-5) came out strong in the opening quarter as a 3-pointer by Emma Jevtic, and an inside basket by junior teammate Alyssa Orozco kept the score close at 13-11 early on.
But the Huskies' relentless full-court press really started to make a huge difference in the second quarter as sophomore Katy Eidle (game-high 21 points) scored 9 straight points during one stretch to give Hersey a 34-14 lead with 4:27 left in the first half.
Then 6 straight points by senior Mary McGrath (15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals) capped Hersey's 24-point run to boost the lead to 43-14 late in the second quarter.
"We had a game last night, our bus didn't come, and after a slow first quarter we had 30 points in the second quarter," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley, whose team is at New Trier on Monday. "We had a lot of success at that (full-court press), and I was happy to see it was really effective."
In the second half, Hersey called off the press as the two teams played to a 15-15 deadlock in the third and fourth quarters with a running clock for the final 3:33 of the game based on IHSA rules.
"The second quarter was rough, and one of our goals was not to give them layups in transition," said Schaumburg coach Jacqui Strauch. "But we did some good things against them, and when we were composed we had some success."
Eidle had 19 of her 21 points in the first half while McGrath had 9 of her 15 points in the first half.
The Saxons got 8 points from Orozco, 7 points from freshman Madi Dolecki, and 5 points each from Emma Raupp, Grace Schluckbier, and Jevtic. Hersey's Kelsey Neary had 4 steals while teammate Mary Kate Fahey drew 3 charges on the defensive end of the floor.
"I don't know if I've ever coached a team that took four charges in one game," added Fendley, whose team outscored the Saxons 30-7 in the second quarter. " (Eidle) has been really active and disruptive in our press, and that led to a lot of her scoring tonight."
Hersey's busy schedule this past week and heading into early next week has seen the Huskies thrive against all of their opponents.
"I think we started off a little rough (against Schaumburg), and our press definitely got us back in it," Eidle said. "We wanted to press a lot, we didn't think they could handle it, and the press has been doing very well the past two games so I'm proud of it."