Maine South quiets Libertyville to win Bison Classic
It was appropriate Maine South head softball coach Emmy Pasier sat on the bench as an assistant to Hawks six-year girls basketball coach Jeff Hamann on Saturday afternoon.
Hamann's Hawks hit a home run in the final game of the Bison Classic at Buffalo Grove High School.
The girls from Park Ridge (5-0) pitched quite a defensive game as they recorded a 58-28 victory over Libertyville (4-2) to win the eight-team event featuring some of the top teams in the area.
Southern Illinois-Edwardsville recruit and all-tourney selection Meegan Fahy and junior backcourt mate Katie Barker each scored 13 points while junior forward Ally Pape added 10 points to keep the Hawks undefeated to start the season.
The game was tied at 12 after one quarter when Libertyville senior guard and all-tourney pick Kate Rule drove for an 8-foot floater just before the buzzer sounded.
"After the first quarter we talked about a little more energy defensively and communication and obviously the girls responded well to that," said Hamann, who watched his group outscore the Wildcats 23-6 in the second quarter. "After that we got into a nice rhythm offensively, which in my opinion, really started with our defense. It was fun to watch."
A steal by sophomore Amelia Fernandez led to a fastbreak layup by Fahy which extended the Hawks' lead to 29-16 with 2:22 left. Moments later, Fernandez was on the back end of a fastbreak, converting a layup for a 31-16 advantage.
"Defense was the big thing coach Hamann was talking to us about," Fahy said. "Getting stops on defense always gives us the energy to keep going on offense."
An offense which also received 6 points apiece from Washington University-bound and all-tourney pick Ava Blagojevich and junior Asia Kobylarczyk and five from junior and all-tourney pick Caitlin Leyden.
"We do have a lot of offensive options," Hamann said. "It wasn't just one, two or three kids. It was all the girls sharing the basketball. When we share the ball and play the defense we are capable of, great things are going to happen and that's what happened in the second quarter."
The defense didn't let up in the final two quarters, limiting the Wildcats to 11 points.
"Maine South is really good," said Libertyville coach Greg Pedersen, whose team was led by all-tourney selection Rachel's Rule's 13 points which included a fourth-quarter 3-pointer. "They've got everyone back (from a supersectional finalist). They're talented. Fast. They shoot. They're in a different league than we are right now and we hope to be like them one day."
Trailing 8-2 early, Libertyville surged back to take a 9-8 lead following a 3-pointer by Rachel Rule and an 8-foot bank shot by sophomore Avery Maddux. But with the score tied at 12 to start the second quarter, Pape tossed home a 3-pointer and the Hawks never looked back.
"That's why you play four quarters," Pedersen said. "The longer this game goes, they're just going to wear us down. They haven't been shooting well lately and they did shoot really well this game."
A game that gave Fahy and her teammates their first Bison Classic title on the varsity.
"In my three year (on varsity), we've finished higher each year (two wins as a sophomore and three wins last year)," Fahy said. "This feels great (going 5-0)."
"This tournament is fantastic," Hamann said. "Obviously the teams we have beaten are always extremely good and they're going to have great seasons. This tournament prepares us very well for the season ahead. It's an honor to be a part of it and an honor to win it this year."