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Girls Basketball: Nye leads Mother McAuley past North Lawndale 59-54

Updated: January 16, 2014 7:02AM

North Lawndale made five three-pointers in the first quarter of its game against Mother McAuley at the ChiTown Showdown hosted by Whitney Young on Saturday, and the Mighty Macs’ Elizabeth Nye was beginning to wonder if the Phoenix would ever miss.

“We went to a 3-2 zone and that slowed them down a little bit,” she said. “Then we went to a man (defense), which was pretty hard because we had (6-foot-2 junior) Erin (Drynan) guarding guards and I was getting posted up.

“Their girls were so versatile, but it ended up working out for us,” Nye added. “It was an ugly one, but it’s good to get a win.”

North Lawndale (4-5) led by as many as 10 points at 24-14 early in the second quarter, but Nye scored 19 points and the Mighty Macs made 8 of 12 free throws in the final 46 seconds to defeat the Phoenix 59-54.

“They came out lights-out, so we knew they’d cool off,” Mother McAuley coach Ashley Clanton said. “At the same time, sitting in that zone was almost putting us to sleep.

“We had to come out and wake ourselves up. The whole game was trying to figure out matchups. It was brutal, but it’s a win.”

Raven Willis gave McAuley (8-2) its first lead of the game at 36-34 with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter, but the Mighty Macs found themselves trailing 47-42 on a rebound basket by North Lawndale freshman Kia Brooks 70 seconds into the fourth period.

A conventional three-point play by Drynan (8 points, 9 rebounds) with 1:34 left gave McAuley a 52-49 lead it never relinquished.

“Erin is a stud,” Nye said. “She didn’t play last year (back injury) and today was a little rocky, but she’s so good. She catches everything I throw at her and puts it in.

“We had a rocky start to the season, but last week we played some really good teams and played really well,” Nye added. “We’re playing a lot of team basketball, which is awesome.”

Molly O’Malley scored 12 points and Willis added 10 for Mother McAuley.

Kiera Brooks led North Lawndale with 14 points and Jamaria Williams and Nadia Miller both had eight points.

“We shot the ball extremely well early, then we started missing some shots but we kept shooting it instead of being aggressive toward the basket,” North Lawndale coach Corey Morgan said “McAuley was extremely disciplined. They ran their stuff and played hard.

“I think the girls are just OK with playing teams tough,” he added. “The other day we were up by three points with four minutes left against Whitney Young, and we were excited that we played them close. We have to get to a place where we’re not OK with just playing the great teams close.”

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