Maine South handles New Trier
If you were driving on Thursday you didn't need to see or hear a weather or traffic report to know that roads were in less than perfect condition.
For New Trier's girls basketball team, a mistake by its bus driver further complicated things as the Trevians found themselves at Glenbrook South, the site of next week's sectional, rather than Maine South where they faced the host Hawks in a Class 4A regional final that they needed to win first in order to qualify for the trip back to GBS.
"Yeah, it was interesting," a relieved New Trier coach Teri Rodgers said upon arrival.
But the Trevians' relief would be short-lived as they would have to find a way to contain one of the hotter teams around in the Hawks, who came into the game winners of 15 of their last 17 games.
Within just a couple of minutes, any hopes New Trier had went by the wayside as a blazing first quarter start by Maine South paved the way for a 76-43 triumph that sends the Hawk to Glenbrook South for next Tuesday's second sectional semifinal where they will face the winner of Friday's Evanston regional title tilt between the Wildkits (18-9) and Glenbrook North (19-9).
In capturing the program's 21st regional championship, the Hawks (22-8) got off to a successful start Thursday, shooting 11 for 16 (68%) in the first which built a 29-8 advantage at quarter's end.
Leading the way was 5-foot-7 senior guard Caroline Barker, who connected four times beyond the arc for 12 of her 15 points.
Having swept the Trevians in CSL South play this season provided more of an impetus to get out to that start according to Hawk Sophomore guard Meegan Fahy.
"That just gave us more of a reason. We knew we had to come out really strong," said Fahy, whose 20-point performance paced Maine South. "That just fed into the team effort."
Junior forward Lillian Smith's 9 points led New Trier (12-15). The visitors got no closer than 18 in the fourth.
Freshman forward Caitlin Leyden added 11 for the Hawks in a reserve role.
Maine South coach Jeff Hamann took a strong feeling of pride in the victorious effort his unit displayed.
"Credit to them," Hamann said. "They got themselves mentally ready to go. It's coach speak but it's the truth - it's one game at a time and this was the game in front of us and I'm so proud of the kids of the way they came out and were mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to go tonight and it showed. It helps when you make some shots, but we put the work in during practice."