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Girls Basketball: Lincoln-Way East outlasts Lincoln-Way North

Updated: January 5, 2014 6:33AM

With an abundance of three-point shooters on his team, Lincoln-Way East coach Jim Martin has a simple mantra: keep on shooting.

“When you’ve got the shooters, you’ve got to shoot it,” Martin said. “We had a week off, and these kids are gamers. They want to play. We try to be quick.”

Living and dying from three-point range can be dangerous, but as was the case Tuesday night against Lincoln-Way North, the Griffins lived by the three, hitting 11 three-pointers in a 48-32 win.

Kara Krolicki scored 20 points, including five three-pointers, to lead Lincoln-Way East (4-1). Dana O’Grady (12 points, 4 assists), Claire McMahon (7 points, 7 rebounds) and Jill Connolly (6 points, 8 rebounds) also contributed.

The Griffins, after having not played in 10 days, finished 11-of-27 from three-point range.

“With only a few games, we haven’t had a lot of chances, but we’ve been shooting well,” O’Grady said. “We run our plays, execute and the three is open.”

McMahon’s second shot from distance put the Griffins up 12-11 early in the second period. While North failed to score a basket in the quarter, missing all six of its field-goal attempts, the Griffins pulled ahead for good. Krolicki and O’Grady hit two threes apiece in the period as East took a 27-17 halftime lead.

“If one of us isn’t shooting well, someone else is,” Krolicki said. “We’re always picking each other up.”

East didn’t attempt a three in the fourth quarter, turning to its inside game. McMahon scored on a hard cut off a Krolicki pass, Krolicki adding a three-point play on a driving bank shot and ensuing free throw.

The long-distance shooting is key, but these Griffins aren’t one-dimensional.

“If we’re not hitting, it’s not our only game,” Krolicki said. “We can get it inside with good post players. Someone will pick us up.”

North (2-2) was led by Kayla Kieklak (9 points) and Sam Pietruszynski (8). The Phoenix finished 2-of-17 from three-point range.

“We played good defense, but East took the momentum and hit a lot of outside shots,” Pietruszynski said. “We’ve never beaten them, and we want to get a win. We’ve got to stick with it on defense.”

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