Maine West perfectly effective again

This Friday night, Maine West's girls basketball team will try for a perfect record on its homecourt this season.

Going up against Class 4A's No. 10-ranked Marist team and its 19-4 record on Monday, the No. 5 Warriors sure looked close to perfect in their penultimate home game.

Once again they executed in all phases of the game and posted a convincing 77-50 nonconference triumph over the East Suburban Catholic Conference power from Chicago.

"I think they're the best team in the state, and I knew that going in," said Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly. "They're just so talented and their transition game is awesome. Every single one of them can shoot."

Senior Allison Pearson shot her way to career-high 21 points, converting a pair of 3-pointers in the Warriors' explosive second quarter when they outscored the Redhawks 25-12 to lead 40-22 at the break.

"It was my second-to-last home game," said Pearson, who will play her home games at North Central College next season. "I just wanted to come out and play hard. When I do that, the fun comes with it."

Junior Rachel Kent was right behind Pearson with 20 points while sophomore Angela Dugalic (11 points, 9 rebounds) and senior Catherine Johnson (10 points) also hit double figures.

In all, eight Warriors scored including Alisa Fallon (8 points), Jessica Riedl, Ellie Centella and Bianca Mando.

"The thing I love most about this team is that they love to play," said Warriors coach Kim de Marigny, who watched her team raise its record to 23-1. "They're not selfish."

That shows in the fact that the Warriors have had an assist on more than 70 percent of their field goals this season. Kent dished out 8 of them on Monday while Pearson had 5 to go along with 4 steals.

"Allison is such a leader on the court," de Marigny said. "But it's a team effort. The girls really played hard and that's the main thing we want to do - play hard and play defense."

The Warriors' defense allowed only freshman Sydney Affolter and junior Stefanie Schied (three 3-pointers) to score baskets in the first half. They both finished with 16 points while senior Ally Corcoran had 7 and junior McKenna Kallianis 6.

"They're really big," said Corcoran, who had one of Marist's five 3-pointers, of Maine West. "And overall, they just played better than us,"

"They (Maine West) are just a well-oiled machine," Connolly said. "They are just phenomenal."

Affolter made two drives in the lane to hit baskets that gave Marist a 4-0 lead.

But West responded with a 9-0 run and never looked back.

"It took us a while to get rolling but hopefully we'll work on that so we can get going right at the start," Pearson said. "This was definitely one of our best wins of the season. It was good to play a game like close to February to get us rolling into the state tournament."

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