Kubsik strong, Fahey gets 1,000th point as Hersey topples Maine South

  • Mary Kate Fahey

    Mary Kate Fahey

 
By Bob Narang
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/1/2021 9:24 PM

Natalia Kubsik made a point to make a request on her first trip to the bench on Monday night.

The Hersey senior forward asked for her pink water bottle from a teammate in the stands during the first official timeout.

 

The 5-foot-10 Kubsik, a key but sometimes overlooked factor in Hersey's success this season, required a chug of water following a hectic first three minutes against Maine South.

On a team with high-scoring sophomore guard Katy Eidle and college-bound seniors, Mary Kate Fahey and Mary McGrath, Kubsik's unselfish play can be lost in the shuffle.

Not on Monday night.

Kubsik grabbed 3 rebounds, blocked 2 shots and scored 2 blocks in the first three minutes to lead the Huskies to a 57-50 nonconference victory.

Wearing a pink mask, Kubsik joked that "pink is everything to me" before commenting on her role in the victory.

"I know my main role on the team is to get rebounds an assists and get the ball for rebounds and start fast breaks," Kubsik said.

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Eidle led the Huskies with 25 points, Fahey scored 14 and McGrath finished with 12. Maine South junior forward Emily Pape scored 20 points and Katie Brander and Niamh Gardiner both had 10.

Led by Kubsik's aggressive play on both ends, the top-ranked Huskies (11-0) notched their second win over a Class 4A Top 10 ranked team in the state in a three-day span.

Kubsik, who was averaging 3 points per game, finished with 5 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks against the Hawks (6-2).

Kubsik, a three-sport athlete, had her imprint all over the win, helping squash Maine South's third-quarter rally with her defense, rebounding and passing. After the Hawks reeled off 8 straight points to cut the deficit to 35-30, Kubsik blocked a shot, picked up three rebounds and earned an assist when Fahey drilled a 3-pointer -- all in a two-plus minute segment.

Kubsik also had a pivotal steal with the Huskies clinging to a 53-50 with 1:42 left in regulation.

"Natalia often goes unsung because we're such a guard team," Hersey coach Mary Fendley said. "Natalia's strength and athleticism in the post is crucial for us. She's long and athletic and uses that so well."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Every time the Huskies attempted to turn the game into a rout, Maine South countered with a run to get within a few points. The Hawks sliced the deficit to 53-50 following Pape's backdoor layup with 2:24 left, but the Huskies clamped down on defense and hit 4 free throws in the final 22.6 seconds to remain unbeaten.

Fahey scored her 1,000th career point by swishing a pullup 17 footer in transition with 53.3 seconds left in the third quarter. The Huskies immediately called timeout, as several fans and players on the bench pulled out banners in support of Fahey.

The New York University recruit said she wished her uncle, Tom Fahey, would've been able to be a part of Monday's postgame festivities honoring her career accomplishment.

"It's a great win," Fahey said. "(Maine South) is an excellent team. They are tall, long and were all over the place. They had a great push in the second half. Scoring 1,000 points is truly a testament to my teammates and coaches throughout all my four years. This season I'm playing for my uncle, Tom, who passed away in November. I wished he would've been here. He had a huge impact on me and was a great basketball player. I'm definitely thinking of him tonight."

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