Hersey rebounds from tough loss, puts away Libertyville
Coming off a tough 32-31 loss to defending Class 3A state champion Carmel on Tuesday in Mundelein, Hersey's girls basketball team showed Thursday night why it's a contender for the Class 4A crown this season.
The Huskies used a 22-3 run in the middle of the first half to pull away to a 58-32 triumph over Libertyville in opening-day action at the Buffalo Grove Bison Classic.
Senior Katy Eidle's game-high 23 points led the Huskies, who were happy to find their stride after Tuesday's opener.
"It was nice to see us get back into the swing of things," the Michigan recruit said. "This is the way we know we should be paying and how we will continue to play. We were able to win by double digits and we got to have the bench come in so everyone got to play a role,"
Playing key roles on the boards were 6-foot-3 junior Annika Manthy (6 rebounds) and 5-11 senior Mackenzie Ginder (5 rebounds), while senior guard Kelsey Neary played her usual role as playmaker handing out 5 assists along with her 9 points.
"The pieces weren't fitting together on Tuesday," said Hersey hall of fame coach Mary Fendley, who is beginning her 25th season and now has 510 wins.
"But tonight we saw a glimpse of the opposite. If we can keep having the pieces come together, it will be something special."
Things came together for Hersey (1-1) on the scoreboard late in the first quarter.
Three-pointers by juniors Kate Rule and Maddy Koplala had the Wildcats nursing a 10-9 lead with 2:14 left in the first quarter before Hersey surged back to take a 15-10 lead igniting the 22-3 run.
"I'm just proud about how we were not feeling real good about our game on Tuesday and then we came back and just battled and we were so strong with the ball, patient and hit open shots," Fendley said.
The Huskies got 3-pointers from Eidle and Neary and a driving layup from Keaton Kraft in the final 1:10 of the half to take a 45-20 lead at intermission.
Eidle ignited Hersey's big first half with 18 of her 23 points.
"Katy was scoring points while also getting all her teammates involved," Fendley said. "They're all so unselfish and they were able to rely on each other."
Libertyville, which was playing its season opener, was led by junior guard Kate Rule (12 points) and the Maryland recruit Fisher (11 points).
Rachel Rule added 5 points
"Our shooting was off, so we needed to do a better job of protecting basketball," Pedersen said. "And we were hesitant to attack, and the rest is history. Hersey is athletic and big. They have a lot of balance. They played a really strong game physically. I was very impressed by it.
"We've got two practices before we play Grayslake Central (on Monday) so there is a lot we can work on. We can use the practice."