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Girls Basketball: Mother McAuley defeats Trinity in GCAC Red Tournament semifinal

A rematch against Trinity just 11 days after a loss turned into a winning scenario for Mother McAuley.

The Macs scored 20 points in the first quarter and trailed only after the first basket of the game in a 56-48 upset Wednesday in a GCAC Red semifinal at McAuley. Molly O’Malley scored a game-high 24 points, including four three-pointers, while finishing with one of her highest totals of the season since scoring a career-high 28 points in November vs. Hersey.

“We knew we had to work harder on defense,” O’Malley said. “The way they came out, we knew it would work out. They are a great team.”

McAuley (17-8) returns to the conference championship for the second consecutive year after losing to Trinity in 2013. The Macs will look for their first GCAC Red Tournament title since 2000 against either Loyola or St. Ignatius at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at home.

Trinity (19-5) won the first meeting of the season at McAuley, 50-39 on Jan. 25, behind leading scorer Lauren Prochaska’s 16 points. The DePaul-bound Prochaska, who was named the conference player of the year, scored 15 points in the rematch, but was limited to two baskets in the second half.

McAuley led 22-7 in the first half after Prochaska scored the game’s first points on a steal and layup.

Patricia Stritzel led the Blazers with 17 points while Annie McKenna added 10. McKenna fouled out with 55 seconds remaining.

Trinity rallied to within 46-43 with 4:20 to go on McKenna’s layup, but the Macs scored six consecutive points, capped by Raven Willis’ rebound and layup off a missed free throw by teammate Jasma Williams.

“We came out without life,” Trinity coach Eddie Stritzel said. “I told the girls, ‘It’s hard to beat a team on other people’s court.’ ”

Elizabeth Nye added 11 points for McAuley.

“All five kids made plays for us. That’s what they needed most,” McAuley coach Ashley Luke Clanton said. “They rely on Elizabeth a lot to make plays, but fortunately, the others (showed they) can make plays, too.”



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