Girls Basketball: Lincoln-Way East topples Sandburg
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media December 12, 2013 9:04PM
Updated: January 14, 2014 1:07PM
Lincoln-Way East coach Jim Martin felt more than comfortable bringing freshman Claire McMahon up to the varsity last season.
As a sophomore, McMahon is reaching her comfort level.
Scoring 13 points, pulling down six rebounds and adding five steals and four assists, McMahon helped a balanced Lincoln-Way East attack in Thursday night’s 53-33 win over visiting Sandburg in a SouthWest Suburban Blue game.
“Last year was a lot of practice for me,” McMahon said. “I’ve gotten more comfortable with the team; it helps we’re a close group.”
Also contributing for the Griffins (6-1, 1-0) were Kara Krolicki (15 points), Haley McCabe (10 points), Dana O’Grady (6 points) and Jill Connolly (5 points, 6 rebounds).
“Claire is more comfortable; (she) still has sophomore moments at times, but she’s shooting well,” Martin said. “Being 6-foot-1 and able to shoot, we like her at that three (position).”
Lincoln-Way East carried a 26-20 lead into the second half.
The Griffins then unleashed a full-court press that produced 10 turnovers in the third quarter.
“(Assistant coach Brian) Papa helped install a new press,” McMahon said. “It works, lots of trapping and it really helped us (Thursday) with some steals.”
McMahon had three of her steals in the third while manning the middle of the press. East went up 33-20, but when Sandburg answered with a Victoria Stavropolous three-point play, the Griffins had one more punch left.
McCabe scored on a fast break, then found Krolicki on the wing on a fast break for a three. O’Grady finished the mini-spurt with a top of the key three-pointer, giving East a commanding 41-23 lead late in the quarter.
“Getting the assist, the rebound, it’s not glamorous, but I like it,” McCabe said with a smile. “We knew we had to finish it, take them out of the fight, and everyone chipped in.”
Sandburg (5-2, 0-1) was led by Sam Youngwirth (10 points) and Stavropolous (9). The Eagles committed 20 turnovers while shooting 4-of-22 from three-point range.
“The press, our girls were in the right positions but just didn’t make the plays,” Sandburg coach Chris Hellrung said. “Lincoln-Way East plays hard, and they’re always in the right spot.”