Hersey flying high again with big triumph over Deerfield
Hersey's girls basketball team did some of its finest work on the boards this weekend.
And when it was over, the Huskies put two more wins on the board to cap an emotional week due to Monday's season-ending knee injury to junior standout Meghan Mrowicki.
Coming off a big 47-44 Mid-Suburban East win over Prospect in which they outrebounded the Knights, 50-19, on Friday night, the Huskies came back and outboarded Deerfield, 42-17, on Saturday afternoon while running away to 66-41 nonconference triumph at the Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights.
"We got to sleep early and woke up ready for the game," said senior Val Allen (13 points, 4 assists), who pulled down 10 rebounds, second best behind 13 from sophomore teammate Annika Manthy (6 points).
"We knew we had to use all our energy from the night before for this game, too. We just kept pushing because we knew they were a great team."
The Warriors (18-3), coached by 1995 Wheeling High School Athlete of the Year Nicole Keith, had lost just twice by a combined 5 points to Downers Grove North (40-37) in their opener and to Geneva (65-63) at the Morton College tournament.
Junior Morgan Kerndt led Deerfield with 11 points while freshman Nikki Kerstein added 9. Junior Lexi Kerstein had to leave the game with 3:35 left due to a knee injury.
"Obviously they were without Aubrey Galvan (another standout freshman guard) and we took a big hit with the loss of Meghan," said Hersey coach Mary Fendley. "But they're a good team. Any team with 18 wins is really skilled so we had nothing but respect for Deerfield and the job Nikki has done over there."
Also getting the job done on the boards for Hersey was junior Katy Eidle, who popped in a game-high 24 points with 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 4 3-pointers.
A 3-pointer by Kelsey Neary (6 points) and Allen's putback got the Huskies off to a 5-0 start.
Hersey closed the first quarter on an 8-0 run, getting back-to-back layups from Allen on assists from Eidle, a 10-footer by Natalie Alesia (9 points) and a layup by Mackenzie Ginder (4 points) that put Hersey in front 36-20 with 17 seconds left in the first half.
Eidle's 3-pointer and 17-footer gave Hersey its biggest lead at 62-31 to start the running clock early in the fourth quarter.
"Katy Eidle is just making 20 points look easy as in the fact that she's had six or seven games in a row with 20 or more points," Fendley added. "Like (Friday) night, I think our rebounding set the tone. By securing so many, it allows us to get multiple opportunities and I think that was the difference in the first half. I think aggressive defense in the second half really ignited the offense.
"All these things are hopefully happening at the right time. I just like how we made it through the week and supported our teammates with some hard things. I'm just proud of the girls."
Lily Haenisch and Kate Muller also scored for Hersey, which is currently tied for first in the MSL East with Prospect.
"It's been a roller coaster week," Fendley said. "Hopefully, we'll stay on top and move forward."