Nearly 1,500 spectators were applauding singers and dancers in the Sheely Center for Performing Arts at Glenbrook North on Friday night for the school’s 2013 Variety Show.
Not too far down the hall, fans of the Maine West girls basketball team were doing some cheering of their own in the school’s gymnasium.
They watched a fine show from the Warriors, who closed out the regular season with a 44-26 victory over the Spartans in the Central Suburban North.
Within the last month, the girls from Des Plaines (12-15, 7-3) put in a new play on offense called “scissors.”
Among those Warriors who cut through the hosts’ defense was 6-foot junior forward Brittany Collins, who scored 19 points while grabbing 7 rebounds and blocking 3 shots.
“She’s awesome,” said Glenbrook North coach Renee Brosnan. “She does a good job of finishing and finding her teammates.”
The Warriors found the lead for good when junior Erin Ross tossed in a 3-pointer that gave West an 11-8 advantage.
Leading 13-12 early in the second quarter, West went on an 8-0 run with 2 buckets from Collins and one apiece by senior guards Alexia Prosperi (baseline 17-footer) and Taylor Iaculla (16-footer from baseline) to take a 21-12 lead with less than minute in the first half.
“I thought we moved the ball well and we played together as a team,” Collins said. “This gives us a lot of confidence to start the regional (next Tuesday against Taft in the Maine South regional).”
Iaculla later hit a 17-footer to give the Warriors a 23-13 cushion at half.
“Taylor made some nice shots against their zone defense,” said Maine West coach Derril Kipp.
“We have a new play we are using on offense,” said Iaculla, referring to ‘scissors’. “It opens up our posts and obviously that helps us shoot better from the outside. It’s basically a lot of movement that opens up everyone.”
Everyone got to play for West on Friday.
Kipp was able to play his six seniors (Bridget Burger, Iaculla, Georgia Petersen, Ashley Collins, Prosperi and Samantha Whalen) for most of the final quarter.
Whalen hit a 6-foot bank shot and made 2 free throws to help West maintain its comfortable advantage in the final period.
Junior Julia Huinker ended the third quarter with a nifty 8-foot turnaround hook shot. She then lobbed a pretty pass into Brittany Collins who scored her final points of the game for a 36-23 lead.
Iaculla (2 steals), who came off the bench, was 3-of-4 from the floor for 6 points.
“We struggled a little against their zone but we did much better against their man to man,” Kipp said. “We would have liked to have won more games this season but we struggled at times with our basketball IQ. Hopefully, we will play better in the regional. We are ready for the challenge.”
In Kipp’s 32 seasons, the Warriors have won 24 conference titles and never been worse than second place. They have never lost more than three games in the conference.
Glenbrook North (13-16) finished at 4-6 in the North and handed champion Highland Park a loss.
“Maine West has a very good inside-outside game,” Brosnan said. “They were hitting outside shots on us.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.