Bergstrom, Morrisey continue to step up for Saint Viator

Several girls basketball players have had the hot hand for their teams over the last few weeks, including a dual threat at Saint Viator.

The Lions have been on a season-long tear, winning seven of their first nine contents (4-2 in East Suburban Catholic play). Even more impressive, Saint Viator is 3-1 in its last four overtime games.

"One thing that has impressed me the most about this group is its ability to play at a high level in close games," coach Jason Raymond said.

Junior Joy Bergstrom (16.9 points per game) and senior Emma Morrisey (15.1 ppg) have led the way of late, while junior Nora Ahram (8.0 ppg), freshman Mia Bergstrom (7.1 ppg) and senior Aubrey Horbach (4.0 ppg) have starred of late as well.

Barrington update:

Juniors Laura Mahlum and Gracie Stagnito have been making things happen of late for the Fillies (7-3, 6-2 MSL West). "Laura and Gracie have been creating a lot for us on the court," coach Babbi Barreiro said. "Laura really does whatever we need her to do offensively and defensively. Gracie's defensive intensity can make opponents very uncomfortable. She sees the floor well and finds her teammates effectively."

Hersey update:

The top-ranked Class 4A team in the state (12-0, 8-0 MSL East) has received a big boost from Natalia Kubsik. "Natalia's effort sometimes goes unnoticed because we really don't need her to score," coach Mary Fendley said. "She is a fantastic rebounder, aggressive shot-blocker and is willing to do the behind-the-scenes work every teams needs to be successful." Standout Mary McGrath also was called out for her stellar defense. "She is so talented on both ends of the court, but I think her defense is the best in the area," Fendley said. "On back-to-back nights she did a beautiful job of guarding (Andi) Will from Prospect and (Grace) LaBarge from Fremd."

Fremd update:

Coach Dave Yates noted both Anna Schmitt and Maddie Fry have come up big for the Vikings (9-1, 8-0). "Anna had a great game against Palatine and Maddie has stepped right in for Bri (Wooldridge, out injured) and has played at a very high level," he said.

Palatine update:

Megan Van Brunt averaged about 10 points a game and around 7 rebounds a game during a recent 4-game stretch, while Megan Kim earned her first varsity start last weekend and hit a big 3-point shot in a recent game. "Megan often draws a tough defensive assignment and holds her own on that end," Palatine coach Mark Johnson said. "She's been our energy person on the bus and in the locker room with her traveling speaker loaded with tunes that get the girls going. Megan played very well (in that first start) with some tough rebounds - remember she's 5-1 - and also played great defense on our press."

Maine West update:

In a recent game against Highland Park, Joanna Vogt was applauded by coach Kim deMarigny for her tenacious defense and excellent rebounding. deMarigny called Monyca Grimmer an unsung senior hero who missed last year with an ACL injury. "She has worked hard to get on the floor and does a great job," the coach said.

Rolling Meadows update:

Junior Madi Niedbala is averaging 9.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2.2 steals per contest for the Mustangs (9-2). "Madi is our most versatile player this year," coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. Junior Alison Sellergren stepped it up against Hoffman Estates recently with 10 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. "One of the best games of her career," the coach pointed out.

Schaumburg update:

Junior Alyssa Orozco leads the Saxons in scoring (11.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.1 rpg). "Alyssa consistently gets guarded heavily, yet manages to contribute to our offense and clean up the boards," coach Jacqie Strauch said. Freshman Madi Dolecki (7 ppg, 4 rpg) has been a "daily spark of energy," Strauch added. "Madi has a natural magnetism to the ball," she said.

Wheeling update:

The Wildcats have benefited from Ashley Yasak's recent strong play. "Ashley is still working on her consistency and production, however she has picked up her vocal leadership and maintained a high level of effort throughout the season," coach Beth Christell said. "She has really stepped up lately."

Conant update:

Neeha Kakuturu and Sam Locascio are recent standouts for coach Todd Strauch's Cougars. "Neeha has really stepped up since Isabelle Tierney went down with an ankle injury," he said. "Sam does all the little things that don't show up in the box score."

Leyden update:

Junior forward Bella Toral scored a career-high 19 points (on 70 percent shooting) off the bench to go with 8 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in the Eagles win over Oak Park. "We have been waiting for Bella to have a breakout game like this because that is the type of player we know she is capable of being," coach Stephanie Kuzmanic said.

Maine South update:

The Hawks, who play in a shootout at Morton College Sunday, have greatly benefited from the recent play of junior forward Emily Pape and senior guard Nicole Gardiner during a recent 5-game stretch with Pape at 15.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 2.3 apg with 11 steals in a 2-game stretch against New Trier and Hersey, and Gardiner at 9.2 ppg, 5 rpg and 4 spg during that span.

  St. Viator's Emma Morrisey, left, tries to steal the ball from Marian Central Catholic's Jenna Golembiewski last weekend. Joe Lewnard/
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