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Girls Basketball: Mother McAuley surprises Marist

AlyssSiwek Mother McAuley drives around Marist's JeTaun Rose. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media

Alyssa Siwek, of Mother McAuley, drives around Marist's JeTaun Rose. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 10, 2013 5:56PM



In Mother McAuley senior Alyssa Siwek’s mind, the No. 6 Mighty Macs needed a lot of things going into Tuesday’s annual “Battle of Mount Greenwood” against No. 2 Marist.

“We needed a big win, we needed our fans, we needed everyone here,” she said after McAuley pulled off a 79-67 shocker in front of a near-capacity crowd and a McAuley student section that joyously stormed the court after the final buzzer.

More than anything, the Mighty Macs needed Siwek.

With the 5-foot-8 guard making whirling-dervish drives through the lane and popping three-pointers to boot early on, they built a 45-35 halftime lead. With Siwek on the bench with fouls for almost the entire third period, they struggled while Marist roared back to take a 58-54 lead.

Siwek played several minutes of the fourth quarter with four fouls. She didn’t collect a fifth, but didn’t back off an inch off an effort that ended with 37 points.

“It makes you hungry to know your plays, to where you’re going to go, what you’re going to do,” Siwek said. “I wanted to score more and play aggressive.”

Lauren Carlson also was key for McAuley (13-4) with 15 points and eight rebounds. Six of the points came during the fourth period, two on a driving layup with 2:55 remaining that put the Macs up for good at 64-63.

Marist (11-5) was led by JeTaun Rouse (19 points), Bria Stallworth (17 points), Leah Bolton (16 points, 8 rebounds) and Brooke Wyderski (11 points).

Momentum swings were the order of the night.

Marist was the first to claim a firm advantage, going up 11-4 and still leading 23-17 at the break. But the Macs, with Siwek and Carlson driving and scoring and Elizabeth Nye hitting a three, opened the second quarter with a 14-2 run. Bridget Bilek later hit a pair of threes. All looked well for McAuley until the final seconds of the period, when Siwek collected her third foul.

A fourth faux pas with 4:22 left in the third period put her on the bench during what would be a strong Marist surge. Rouse completed the rally with a three-point play that made it 49-48 RedHawks, and Stallworth made the quarter’s final statement with a pull-up three-pointer at the buzzer that left them in front 58-54.

Siwek, for better or worse, went back in for the fourth period. She landed her first dagger with 3:50 remaining by draining a three-pointer that sliced a 63-57 deficit in half. She would go on to score 16 fourth-quarter points as the Macs pulled away in the final 2:30.

“We were just trying to push as hard as we could and get back the lead we started the second half with,” Carlson said. “Once we started scoring we just got more and more excited and kept going after it.”



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