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Girls Basketball: Bishop McNamara knocks out Hillcrest

Updated: March 27, 2014 6:41AM



Bishop McNamara’s Khadaizha Sanders has some unfinished business.

The guard remembers a year ago, a loss in the supersectional ending the Fighting Irish’ surprise run at the state tournament. She remembers the feeling, and doesn’t want to feel it again.

During Tuesday night’s Class 3A Lincoln-Way West Sectional semifinals, Sanders helped Bishop McNamara get one step closer to it goal as the Fighting Irish defeated Hillcrest 79-68.

“We’ve got a chip on our shoulder. We just want to win,” Sanders said. “To be so close and fall short, that takes a toll on you. We want to get after it.”

Bishop McNamara (24-5) advances to Thursday’s sectional championship against Joliet Catholic, a 78-67 winner over Morgan Park. The Fighting Irish twice lost to Joliet Catholic this season, 62-43 in January and 85-45 in November.

“Excited and eager,” Fighting Irish coach Ramon Daguinsin said. “We’re eager to play them. That second time was a little closer.”

Sanders was everywhere Tuesday, finishing with 31 points and 10 assists. The Fighting Irish needed all of them as a persistent Hillcrest team refused to go away.

When Hillcrest cut the deficit to 44-40 in the third period, Sanders was there, drilling a three-pointer and adding a fast-break bucket off a steal the next time down.

Bishop McNamara never delivered one knockout blow, just a series of plays one on top of the other whenever Hillcrest made a charge.

“We’re a good team, and good teams find a way to win,” Sanders said. “We play in spurts, we’re growing as a team, but we want to find that way to win.”

Hillcrest drew to within 66-62 with three-plus minutes to go in the fourth, but got no closer.

Kyisha Hunt (19 points) and Jenna Stauffenberg (14) also contributed for Bishop McNamara.

Aliah Acker (20 points), Tanzania Sherrill (12 points, 6 steals), Tierra Sanders (12 points, 7 rebounds) and Shayla Joyner (10 points) led Hillcrest (23-5).

“We didn’t get any stops, and Sanders is the real deal,” Hillcrest coach John Maniatis said. “This team battled up (all season). They showed tremendous heart and determination. We were a 4-3 team, and we were able to bounce back.”



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