Pape, Maine South turn back Glenbrook South
Maine South senior Emily Pape had a terrific first half Friday night against visiting Glenbrook South.
It might have been her effort in the final two quarters, however, that helped turn the tide.
The Titans, trailing most of the game, closed to within 1 point in both the third and fourth periods.
But Pape, a 6-foot-1 forward, paced a strong Hawks effort that led to a 54-47 girls basketball win in the Central Suburban South.
"She's been our leader on and off the floor all season long," said Maine South coach Jeffrey Hamann of Pape. "The other teams, especially in our conference, are gearing up to stop her but she still puts up impressive numbers. To be honest, it's her teammates that are looking to her. They believe in her, and she believes in them."
Pape finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Chloe Gonzalez led Glenbrook South with 17 points.
The Titans trailed by double-digits twice in the game, but dug deep and found a way to fight back both times.
"The girls have done a tremendous job all year of hanging in there, learning and adapting, and coming back against good teams, and tonight was no exception," said Glenbrook South coach Scott Nemecek. "They played hard and I'm proud of them.
"Their number 20 (Pape) is a great player, and she's very calm, which is the thing that makes her good. The game looks really slow when she's handling the ball. I thought our girl (Meg Flentye) did a good job of guarding her, but anyone who's guarding her is in for a long night."
Maine South led just 32-31 in the third quarter when Pape sank a layup, hit 2 free throws, and got a big rebound that led to a 3-pointer by teammate Caroline Barker.
The Hawks (15-9, 7-1) opened up a 10-point advantage, but midway through the fourth, the Titans cut the deficit to 1 again.
Then a block on the defensive end by Pape, and another bucket in the paint, gave the momentum back to the Hawks.
Glenbrook South closed the gap again late, but 4 clutch free throws from sophomore guard Ava Blagojevich in the final minute helped seal the win.
"I didn't feel any pressure," said Blagojevich, "because in the off season, I was shooting at least 50 free throws a day. That's all I worked for, and I feel like my hard work has really paid off."
Blagojevich scored 15 points, and that mark included 3 3-pointers and 6-of-6 from the line, while teammate Meegan Fahy posted 6 points.
Hawks senior Evelyn O'Leary pitched in with 5 points, including a big 3-pointer that helped Maine South extend its lead in the first half.
"When you have a game between two conference rivals," said Hamann, "you need to make your free throws, and make the plays down the stretch. We did that, and Emily led the way for us which she usually does. We're really proud of our win tonight."