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Girls Basketball: Marist comes up short against Bishop McNamara

Updated: February 13, 2014 6:54AM



“Reach for Redemption” might as well be Bishop McNamara’s resolution for the start of the new year.

Saturday’s 66-60 East Suburban Catholic Conference victory over host Marist was the first step.

“This was real big,” Fightin’ Irish guard Khadaizha Sanders said. “We wanted it. I think this is actually the first year we’ve ever beaten Marist. So we had a little chip on our shoulders.”

They should have boulders on them Tuesday when they host Joliet Catholic in a reprise of a beatdown administered by the Angels at the Rich South Galaxy.

“We didn’t play our best at the beginning of the season, but we’ll be ready on Tuesday,” forward Kyleigh Payne promised.

In Saturday’s win, Sanders had 23 points, Payne 15 points, Kyisha Hunt nine points and 10 rebounds and Corinne O’Connor nine points for McNamara (13-2, 3-0).

Marist (8-8, 1-1) was paced by Skylar Patterson (13 points), Brooke Wyderski (12 points), Teyha Fortune (10 points) and Claire Finn (9 points, 10 rebounds).

For three quarters, it was pretty much a Sanders production for the Irish, who started the game off by hitting their first five shots and never trailed. Sanders, only 5-foot-7 but a fearless driver, had eight points in the first period.

At one stage the Irish led by as many as 14 points before Marist doggedly fought back to twice get to within one early in the fourth period.

McNamara, however, refused to break, getting contributions over the final eight minutes from all corners. In all, six different Irish players scored.

The crushing sequence began with 1:48 remaining when, leading just 59-56, O’Connor converted a layup. Payne then rebounded Marist misses on two consecutive possessions, was fouled and hit 3-of-4 free throws.

“We can step up. I mean, we’re a team,” Payne said. “That’s what it is. We’re a team. We pick each other up.”

For Marist, which has six sophomores on its roster, it was another day of good stretches and youthful mistakes.

“We’re getting there. We just have to put it all together,” Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly said. “We’ve done this before when we started the program with all sophomores and freshmen.

“You just have to stay positive and look at it as a growing thing. We’re going to be good the next two years. Hopefully, by the end of this season.”



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