Hersey bowls over Batavia
In the final two minutes of the third quarter, Katy Eidle was knocking down 3-pointers like bowling pins.
Hersey's senior sharpshooter hit three in a row in a span of 98 seconds for a 9-0 run that all but sealed a 65-36 Saturday afternoon matinee victory over visiting Batavia at the Carter Gymnasium.
Just one day earlier, the Michigan recruit who had 29 points and 6 3-pointers for the game, was indeed knocking down pins with her teammates at the Bowlero bowling alley in Mt. Prospect.
"I just texted Mark Gunther (Hersey bowling coach and former head football coach) last week and said we need a little bit of a change of scenery," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "My girls work really hard and they're so tight on and off the court that sometimes I just feel you need to change gears a little and Mark was just gracious enough to figure out a good time we could join his girls at the bowling alley, and it just worked out really well."
And guess who had Hersey's best score on the lanes?
"Of course, it was (Eidle)," said classmate Natalie Alesia, who recorded the second best bowling score behind Eidle. "She's so athletic, it's crazy. It was a fun time bowling with everyone there from our team and the bowling team. I can't remember bowling since a birthday party when I was seven years old."
Hersey fans will remember another explosive performance by their No. 3 ranked Class 4A team.
The Huskies (19-3) used a 9-0 run late in the first half, capped by Mackenzie Ginder's fastbreak layup off an assist from Eidle to take a 34-19 lead and they never looked back.
Junior Kelsey Neary, who had 4 steals, tossed home a 3-pointer that gave Hersey a 45-26 lead midway through the third period.
Coincidentally, it was a 3-point play by Eidle that preceded her three straight 3-pointers, so she actually scored 12 straight points in her big run that ended the third quarter with Hersey in front 57-28.
"They're (Hersey) legit," said Batavia coach Kevin Jensen, whose team is 11-9. "We've played some really good teams this season and they do some things better than anyone we've seen. They're fast and athletic but the way they advance the ball from one side of the floor to the other is pretty top-notch."
Meghan Mrowicki is top-notch when it comes to closing those fast breaks. The junior guard chipped in 15 points. Val Allen and Ginder each had 4 while Alexia Strubulis and Annika Manthy (5 rebounds) each had a pair of buckets.
Sophomore Brooke Carlson led the Bulldogs with 11 points followed by Tessa Towers (8), Brooke Nazos (7) and Addi Lowe (6 points with a pair of 3-pointers).
"This was Brook Nazos' (senior guard) second start and I thought she played extremely well," Jensen added. "She came in and guarded Katy Eidle a little bit and did as decent as anyone can do against somebody so talented."
Eidle also finished with 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.
"It was definitely fun to do something like (bowling) that for one day instead of practicing," Eidle said. "It was great for team bonding. We had so much fun."
"We've had seven games on the road and it feels great to finally get back home," Fendley said. "We had our feeder kids here and it was neat to see them. And we had some alums here like Annie and Kathyrn Korff so it was just a lot of fun."