Maine South runs past Huntley to reach Komaromy title game
Huntley worked hard to cut Maine South's 16-point lead in the second quarter to single digits, and finally got there after back-to-back field goals, including a 3-pointer, from senior guard Jessie Ozzauto.
As they did all night, however, the Hawks had an answer.
Maine South pushed its lead to 10 points at halftime and really turned up the pressure in the second half, scoring on its first three possessions of the third quarter while the Red Raiders struggled to create open looks against the Hawks' tough 1-3-1 zone defense.
Led by 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting from junior guard Meegan Fahy, the Hawks' lead continued to grow in an eventual 70-36 victory in Dundee-Crown's Komaromy Classic semifinals on Wednesday, snapping Huntley's eight-game winning streak.
Maine South (12-3) will carry a nine-game winning streak of its own into the championship against Barrington at 8 p.m. Thursday. Huntley (14-2) will play Stevenson at 6:30 p.m. for third. Barrington beat Stevenson 56-53 in overtime in the night's second semifinal.
Maine South, which was runner-up in the tournament in 2019, never advanced in the championship bracket last season after it could not field a team on the first day because of the pandemic. The Hawks are trying to win the Komaromy Classic for the first time since 2012.
"Last year, we never got to a championship game, so it's really exciting," said Fahy, who added five steals and four assists. "I was nervous at first, but then the adrenaline kicked in. I just like going out and having fun with my teammates. I thought we moved the ball really well tonight."
Maine South led 30-20 at the half and started the third quarter on a 14-4 run.
Fahy scored nine of her game-high 21 points in the third quarter, while sophomore Ally Pape (14 points) tossed in seven. Maine South outscored the Raiders 22-9 in the quarter to take a commanding 52-29 lead.
Huntley finished with 26 turnovers, including 10 in the third quarter.
"We weren't ready, and I think we just let it get to us right away," said Ozzauto, who had 10 points and seven rebounds for Huntley. "Mentally, I don't think we were there. We had to be more tough with the ball. We just have to respond tomorrow."
Maine South coach Jeff Hamann lauded the play of Fahy.
"She's a special player, and she does a lot well for us," Hamann said. "She's a very good athlete, she's quick and fast. She can shoot it, she can take it to the rim and she can handle the ball. The first two games she didn't really break out, but we knew that this game, in a big game, it was going to be Meegan's night."
Katie Barker (13 points, three 3s) and Ava Blagojevich (11) points joined Fahy and Pape in double figures in scoring for the Hawks. Blagojevich added six assists.
Fahy, in her second year on varsity, played with Pape's older sister, Emily, a year ago. She said their connection already is very strong.
"It's kind of crazy because last year, I played with her sister, and I feel like I already know her too because they play so similar," Fahy said. "Last year, I learned how to play hard and how much you have to try every single play. This year I'm learning how to be a bigger leader."
For Huntley, Anna Campanelli led the team in scoring with 11 points. Mallory Winters had eight points off the bench, and Sammi Campanelli added six points and three steals.
Huntley coach Steve Raethz felt his team was outworked most of the night, but credited Maine South for forcing a lot of hurried and hectic passes.
"A lot of things obviously did not go our way, and Maine South had a lot to do with that," Raethz said. "They're a really good team, and they humbled us tonight. We got outplayed, outworked and outhustled for 32 minutes, and that hasn't happened a lot to us this season."