Girls Basketball: Michelle Maher lifts Maine South to much-needed winThe Titan's Molly McDonagh goes around Hawk defender Kaitlyn Mullarkey during the girls varsity basketball game between host Maine South and Glenbrook South Friday February 3, 2012 in Park Ridge. Scott Hardesty/Sun-Times Media.
Updated: February 3, 2012 11:02PM
Against one of the best defenses in the CSL South, Maine South turned to one of the best ball-handlers around.
Michelle Maher calmly navigated Glenbrook South’s pressure, especially in the fourth quarter, as the Hawks held on for a 48-43 win Friday at home. The much-needed, wire-to-wire win snapped a losing stretch that spanned five defeats in six games.
“After all the losses we talked about the good and the bad and how we could fix it,” said Maine South junior Jacqui Grant, who finished with 13 points. “We just had to relax and play as a team. We were really tight. Hopefully, we got it back for good, and we can continue to play like this through the playoffs.”
The Western Illinois-bound Maher didn’t turn over the ball in the game and went 5-for-6 on free throws in the final eight minutes to help the Hawks to the victory. The senior point guard finished with 13 points.
“She did a really nice job (Friday),” said Maine South coach Mark Smith, whose team only committed 11 turnovers against the Titans.
Kaitlyn Mullarkey’s layup made it 42-33 in favor of Maine South, but Colleen McDonagh knocked down consecutive three-pointers in 22 seconds to get Glenbrook South within three with 4:12 to go in the game.
But the Hawks were able to withstand the late rally as Maher made three throws in the final 1:01.
“We’ve been down before, and we know how to fight back,” said McDonagh, who scored a game-high 18 points. “I think that’s the awesome part of our conference is we play so many close games. It’s one of our greatest advantages. We are not ever shellshocked because we’ve played these type of games before.”
Maine South led by seven at the half and by five going into the fourth. The Hawks then went on a 6-2 run to start the final quarter before the Titans started their comeback.
“This was a really important game for us to win,” Smith said. “It was important for us to get a win against a good team.”