Rolling Meadows routs Warren

Rolling Meadows senior guard Ciara McMahon was put on the spot Saturday afternoon.

“Which was sweeter?” she was asked after RM’s 41-24 defeat of visiting Warren in a nonconference girls basketball game. “Your three-point shooting or the bigger-than-a-pancake cookie you just ate (as part of the postgame celebration of Mustangs coach Ryan Kirkorsky’s 300th career victory, achieved on Jan. 19)?”

“The cookie,” a grinning, crumb-free McMahon replied. “You should try one.”

Kirkorsky fielded the same query minutes later.

“Ciara’s shooting, definitely,” the coach said.

Sorry, Ciara. Your Steph Curry-esque display from three-point hardwood won the day and triggered dozens of clanging jaw drops in the bleachers. McMahon — the program’s record holder in treys made in a game (8) and in a season (102), both of which were set last winter — struck for 6 three-pointers in her 20-point game Saturday.

The 5-foot-7 sharpshooter, who’s bound to fray more twine at Division III Carroll (Wis.) University from 2024-2028, hit a trio of three-pointers in the first quarter and three more in the fourth.

“It’s a pretty simple motion, plus it’s quick,” Kirkorsky said of McMahon’s shooting technique. “Ciara absolutely loves to be in the gym. She’ll often stay after practice to take more shots.”

Rolling Meadows’ team ‘D’ was also delectable against Warren’s Blue Devils (14-12). The Mustangs (21-7), who led 19-14 at intermission, limited Warren to 5 points in the first 8 minutes and didn’t allow a point in the final frame.

“I didn’t know that until after the game,” RM sophomore forward/center Dalia Grandberry (6 rebounds) said of the home team’s 14-0 shutout in the fourth quarter. “We talked about our defensive game plan at the half. We always focus a lot on defense.

“Today we talked a lot (on defense), moved well, boxed out well, rebounded well.”

Warren outscored Meadows 19-13 in the middle quarters and trailed only 27-24 after 24 minutes. Blue Devils senior forward Nari Powers (game-high 12 rebounds, 2 steals) poured in 10 of her team-best 13 points in the second and third stanzas. Her putback bucket at 5:16 of the third quarter capped a personal 4-0 spurt and tied the matinee at 19.

RM sophomore guard Elizabeth Andriano (5 points) answered quickly at the other end of the court, nailing a triple 17 seconds later. Powers’ second field goal of the quarter melted the Mustangs’ advantage to 23-22. Andriano then came through with another rapid response, this time via a two-pointer 16 seconds later.

“Elizabeth is pretty much solid every game,” said Kirkorsky, who coached four seasons at Elk Grove before accepting the post at RM in 2011 and guiding Mustangs to 242 wins (and counting); each of his 2012-13 and 2013-14 squads finished state runner-up in Class 4A.

Grandberry dished an assist to her sister, senior forward/center Roisin Grandberry (6 points, 7 boards), with 44 seconds left. That made it 27-24, Mustangs.

“I liked our fight for three quarters and up until five minutes remained in the fourth quarter,” said 25th-year Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz, who has amassed 442 career wins. “We took shots in the fourth that we normally make. This has been us most of the season — we play a good team well and then things don’t go our way in the fourth. We addressed that in our team huddle (right after the final buzzer Saturday). Is it an issue with our confidence? Is it not being able to overcome tough moments in the fourth?

“We’re not closing the deal in the fourth. We have to fix that.”

Blue Devils senior guard Anika Youngman provided a spark off the bench in the second quarter, netting all 5 of her points in a 2-minute span.

RM senior guard/forward Emily Romanacce grabbed 6 rebounds. Classmate Olivia Zielinski (3 points) blocked a first-quarter shot and secured the rebound about 1.2 seconds later.

“Team effort,” said team-first hoopster McMahon, who authored 49% of her team’s point total Saturday. “We took advantage of Warren’s aggressive defense, and my teammates set great screens and back screens.”

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