Girls Basketball: Warren edges Andrew at buzzer
She didn’t know there was less than five seconds left in the game, so when she stole the ball at halfcourt and went in alone on the basket, Warren senior Lexi Leneau simply tried to stay in control.
“I just knew I had to make it so we didn’t go into overtime,” Leneau said. “I thought, ‘Dribble fast but don’t lose the ball and don’t miss the layup’.”
Leneau’s layup as the final buzzer sounded gave Warren a 34-32 win over Andrew in the 22nd annual McDonald’s Shootout, hosted by Willowbrook.
As Leneau swooped in past her own bench to play the hero, Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz kept coaching to the end of Friday’s game.
“I was trying to yell to her that she had three seconds and to relax on the layup,” Stanczykiewicz said. “As a coach you’re trying to help her but she was in the moment and thankfully, she did just what she had to do.”
Playing without starting center Jessica Prince and guard Cassie Christie, Warren (12-7) got 18 points and eight rebounds from Leneau, and eight points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks from senior Amanda Barger.
Sluggish first-half scoring gave way to a more prolific third quarter, as Andrew posted a 19-11 scoring edge in building a 28-24 lead heading into the final quarter.
Andrew’s Tiana Karopulos buried three shots and teammate Meghan McHale hit a pair of three-pointers during the Thunderbolts’ third-quarter scoring outburst.
Warren’s 10-4 scoring edge in the final quarter featured an Alyssa Phillips basket that tied the game at 32-32 with time winding down, before Leneau’s steal and layup secured the win.
“For the most part we played pretty good, but we obviously had that point where things started to unwind a little bit,” Leneau said. “Luckily we were able to pull it together and pull it through at the end.”
Karopulos led Andrew with 11 points while McHale scored eight, and Nicole Botich had 14 rebounds and seven points for the Thunderbolts.