St. Viator's rally falls short

Just when St. Viator's girls basketball team was making a move in the middle of the final quarter, Marist dug in and was able to close out a 42-34 victory at the Cahill Gymnasium on Wednesday night in Arlington Heights.

The Lions trailed by as many as 15 points late in the third quarter but narrowed the gap to 35-29 with 3:43 left in the East Suburban Conference game.

Two free throws by Allia von Schlegell (team-high 13 points) got the hosts to within 35-26 and moments later the sophomore guard connected on a 3-pointer from the baseline to cut the deficit to 6 points.

However, Redhawks senior guard Isabelle Harmon made 2 free throws and hit a 3-pointer with 1:42 left to the extend the lead to 40-29.

"I told Isabelle at half we needed her to start putting up points," said Marist coach and former Redhawk Renee Chimino. "So she came through. She's one of our seniors and a really great player. She was a great addition on the floor, especially at the end of the game (Harmon scored 6 of her 12 points in the final 2:18)."

Leading the visitors was standout senior Elise Ward with 25 points. 18 in the first half.

"She had a great first half," said Viator coach Jason Raymond of Ward, also a volleyball standout with more than 500 kills. "I thought we did a better job in the second half in at least controlling her."

Ward, who has more than 1,000 career points, staked the Redhawks to a 5-0 lead when she started the game with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and added 2 free throws with 4:30 left in the quarter.

Viator tied it at 5-5 a 3-pointer from junior sharpshooter Mia Bergstrom and a bucket by Kyli Ziebka with 2:25 left in the period.

But Marist (13-14, 2-4) closed the period with a 7-0 run, capped by Ward's running layup with 25 seconds left for a 12-5 advantage.

Marist surged ahead 32-17 late in the third quarter on a steal and layup by Ward with 4:17 left. The Lions held the Redhawks scoreless the rest of the period and got to within 32-22 on a 15-foot baseline jumper by von Schlegell and a 3-pointer by Bergstom with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.

"We had a pretty good third quarter but it was tough with them being in the bonus and going to the free-throw line at the end," said Bergstrom, a Saint Louis pledge who tossed in 12 points with four 3-pointers and had 3 rebounds and 3 blocks. "We need to come out tougher, compete more and play to our game plan."

"Bergstrom is really great and we knew that coming in," Chimino said. "So our girls executed the game plan, and worked hard on her. "

The Lions (8-16, 1-5), who are in a stretch of seven games in 10 days, host Wheaton St. Francis (15-10) on Thursday.

"It's a quick turnaround," Bergstrom said. "We've got to get back at it, execute and play to the game plan,."

Raymond said his young team is still suffering from growing pains.

"Our team is learning how to implore our will on another team and right now we are struggling with that at times," he said. "When we play good teams it seems like we are reacting instead of attacking and that's something young teams go through and we have to grow out of it."

But he liked the persistence from his squad which also received points from Grace Gerdes-Grabowy (6 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal) and Maggie Ratzki.

"We battled and I thought our defense kept us in the game," Raymond said. "I thought a couple of times Marist could have run away with the game but we kept sticking our nose in there and fighting and that's a credit to the girls. They want to win, they want to play well and it's just growing pains."

  St. Viator's Allia Von Schlegell pressures Marist's Mary Kate Porter (10) during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
  St. Viator's Mia Bergstrom takes a shot during Wednesday's girls basketball game against Marist in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
  St. Viator's Kyli Ziebka takes a shot between two Marist defenders during Wednesday's girls basketball game in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
  St. Viator's Allia Von Schlegell (2) heads to the hoop during Wednesday's girls basketball game against Marist in Arlington Heights. Paul Valade/
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