Hersey nips Barrington for title at Buffalo Grove
The best part of Saturday's exciting championship girls basketball game of the Bison Classic at Buffalo Grove High School is that fans get to see the same two teams (Hersey and Barrington) play each other again in just two days at Barrington High School in a Mid-Suburban League crossover.
Round one went to the Huskies, who held off the Fillies 51-47 to extend their season-opening win streak to five games while Barrington lost for the first time in five tries.
"Just knowing so much about Barrington this season and what an amazing coach Babbi (Barreiro) is, I think if we played 100 times, we might go 50-50 with them," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley, who like Barreiro, is a IBCA hall of famer. "So, obviously I'm thrilled to get this win."
You might say Hersey junior standout Katy Eidle got a double win on Saturday, as her future school's college football team (Michigan) had its biggest win of the season (over Ohio State).
"It's incredible," Eidle said. "I couldn't ask for a better Saturday. Go Blue."
Eidle helped the orange and brown go with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals. Classmate Meghan Mrowicki, who coincidentally announced her soccer commitment to Notre Dame on Saturday, added 12 points with 4 steals.
"She is actually a super-talented basketball player as well," Fendley said of Mrowicki. "We are so proud of her and what an accomplishment to be at that national-caliber level of soccer and to be able to come out and do this in her 'second sport.' "
Junior Kelsey Neary (UConn recruit for lacrosse) hit a jumper to give Hersey an 8-2 lead midway through the first quarter.
Barrington's Sophie Swanson (game-high 23 points, 6 rebounds) followed with a 3-pointer but a long-distance bucket by Eidle, steal and layup by Mrowicki, and 2 free throws by Neary put Hersey in front 15-5.
Swanson's 27-foot step back 3-pointer just before the buzzer got Barrington to within 15-10.
Hersey's biggest lead in the second quarter was 18-11, thanks to Mackenzie Ginder's putback of a missed free throw.
Two big 3-pointers from Laura Mahlum (11 points), including one with 8 seconds left, helped get Barrington to within 28-25 at intermission.
Swanson's rebound and driving layup with 29 seconds left in the third period gave the Fillies a 38-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter, in which neither team led by more than 4 points.
A 17-footer by Gwen Adler (9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals) gave the Fillies a 47-46 lead with 3:55 left.
Hersey got the lead for good on 2 free throws by Neary (11 points) that made it 48-47 with 1:17 left. Senior Val Allen (8 rebounds) made a big steal with 45 seconds left when she punched the ball away from the dribbler into the hands of Eidle, who was fouled and made 2 free throws for a 50-47 lead.
Moments later, Eidle grabbed a long rebound off a missed 3-pointer. She was fouled and added a free throw for the final margin with 7 seconds left.
Natalie Alesia (6 points, 8 rebounds) also had some key baskets for Hersey. Sophomore Molly O'Riordan added 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists for the Fillies.
"It was a good game," Barreiro said. "I felt we had some untimely turnovers at key moments. But, obviously, Hersey is always a good team and well coached. We were up by four (43-39, thanks to Adler's 17-footer with 5:50 left) but we let them back in it. But you play good teams like this so you get better for the rest of the season."