Manthy, Hersey hand Schaumburg its first loss

Hersey's near-perfect defensive effort in the fourth quarter put an end to Schaumburg's perfect start to the girls basketball season.

Richmond recruit and senior Annika Manthy scored 6 of her game-high 19 points and senior Ava Hardwood had all 4 of her points in the final eight minutes when the Huskies (6-3) outscored the visitors 14-4 and pulled away to a 52-36 victory in the Mid-Suburban League crossover on Tuesday night at the Ken Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights.

"I think we all moved the ball very well and we worked as a team this game and that really showed up in the last quarter," said Kristin Wentling, who made 7-of-8 free throws and finished with 9 points. "We knew we had to come out strong and it feels good to win a game against a team which had not lost."

"It was probably our best quarter of the season," said first-year Hersey coach Courtney Ludois. "It was a really good test for us because they (Schaumburg) pressed us the whole game. We needed to show composure and toughness. And I feel like we did that."

The Huskies showed toughness on the boards as well, where junior Kiki Craft (8 points) collected a team-high 11 and Harwood pulled down 5.

Hersey scored the first 8 points of the second quarter to take the biggest lead (18-6 with 5:48 left) of the first half.

The big rally included 2 free throws and a putback by Wentling, a bucket by Manthy and Kate Donovan's 10-footer from the side off an assist from Wentling.

Three-point baskets by Symone Harrell and Audrey Schluckbier got the visitors to within 18-11 with 3:48 left to half.

A layup by freshman Sadie Marks off a nice pass from Donovan pushed Hersey's lead back to 22-14.

But Schaumburg closed the half on a 6-2 run getting 3-pointers from Jadaya Branch and Audrey Schluckbier (6 points) with 22 seconds left to trail 24-20 at intermission.

Momentum swung a bit toward the visitors at the start of the second half when senior Madi Dolecki's back-to-back layups tied the game at 24.

"It was fun to watch our girls come out and say 'We're here to play,'" Strauch said. "Madi kind of got us going a little. But then they got a couple of offensive boards and after that they kept the ball through some possessions."

Craft had a big one of those offensive boards and completed a 3-point lead to give Hersey a 27-24 lead.

Hersey answered Dolecki's two buckets with a 10-1 run, capped by Manthy's 3-point play to make it 34-25 with 2:59 left in the period.

Schaumburg responded and trailed 34-30 on Harrell's putback.

But two free throws by Marks with 4.3 seconds gave Hersey a 38-32 lead after three quarters.

The 6-foot-1 Marks finished with 8 points.

"She was good and she has a ton of potential," Ludois said. "She showed a lot of composure today."

And the Huskies' composure in the final quarter helped put the game away in the final minutes. They used their passing game to melt the clock down and get to the free-throw line.

"Everyone followed the game plan," Ludois said. "And we finally put together a complete game."

Harrell led Schaumburg with 11 points, followed by Branch (10) and Dolecki (7).

"We spent a lot of time on defense in the second half," Strauch said. "We just weren't getting boards. It was tough. You're going to fail. I love them. I don't think we were going to have a perfect season. I still think they played their tails off. I don't know if the final score reflects the entire game. I think the girls fought their way through and I'm proud of them for doing that. They fought in the moments to get back. I just think we lost some steam at the end with the (lack of) rebounding."

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