Hoffman Estates win creates MSL West logjam
Hoffman Estates senior Becca Stoczynski spent a lot of time at the free throw line Wednesday night.
As far as the Hawks were concerned, it was time well spent.
The 6-foot guard-forward, who battled inside for rebounds and often played point guard, made the first 11 of her 12 free throws and scored a game-high 15 points as Hoffman led nearly all the way in 40-30 triumph at Barrington.
The Hawks' win means the top fours team in the Mid-Suburban West girls basketball standings now have one loss — Palatine (3-1), Barrington (3-1), Fremd (2-1) and Hoffman (2-1).
"I feel like I'm going to be sore (today)," said Stoczynski, who battled hard to get her free throws. "There were so many collisions. Barrington was tough. I didn't expect that."
But she does expect the Hawks to keep winning if they play like they did Wednesday.
"I'm at a loss for words," Stoczynski said. "I feel like we worked so well as a team. I kept saying we've got to be strong with the ball and we were. That's what helped us win the game."
Stoczynski (14 rebounds) and Destinee Young (10 points, 10 rebounds) were strong inside while the Hoffman perimeter players made big shots and steals.
Barrington freshman Megan Talbot drove for a bank shot and classmate Bryana Hopkins hit a 3-pointer to give the hosts a 5-2 lead.
A 3-pointer by sophomore Mary Saitta with two seconds left in the first quarter lifted Hoffman to a 7-5 lead heading into the second period.
The visitors grabbed the lead for good when Stoczynski made a layup with 4:20 left in the half. She then hit 8 straight free throws in the next three minutes to give Hoffman a 20-13 cushion at the break.
"Becca is an 80 percent free throw shooter and those were clutch ones," said Hawks coach Mike Nocella. "Shante Hill (5 points) and Mary Saitta (8 points) made clutch shots. Shante had some nice steals and I thought Rachel Mirabile gave us real nice help defensively off the bench."
Saitta's second 3-pointer gave Hoffman a 27-17 lead midway through the second quarter.
The lead was extended to 31-17 when Young found Saitta for an easy layup and Stoczynski hit a layup with 2:31 left in the third period.
The Fillies, though, weren't about to fold.
They went on an 11-2 run and got to within 33-30 on Hopkin's 3-point play with 4:39 left in the game.
But the Hawks answered with a 7-0 run to close out the game, getting 2 buckets from Young and 3 more free throws from Stoczynski.
"Destinee and Becca controlled the boards for us most of the time," Nocella said.
Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro felt Hoffman Estates did a nice job controlling the game.
"They deserved to win — they played hard from beginning to end," she said. "I give them credit. We didn't shoot well again but that's no excuse. Hoffman played better than Barrington."
Hopkins led the Fillies with 10 points while Talbot added 8.
"We have a nice group," Barreiro said. "But talent, without working hard, isn't going to get you very far."
Hoffman hosts Palatine and Barrington visits Fremd on Friday.
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