Girls Basketball: Loyola’s three-point attack buries Maine EastMaine East's Stacie Kappos grabs a rebound against Loyola in the Evanston Regional basketball on February 14, 2012. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 14, 2012 10:44PM
No. 4 seed Loyola used pressure defense and long-range shooting to hammer No. 13 Maine East 76-26 in Tuesday’s Class 4A Evanston Regional semifinals.
The Ramblers (22-7) had 17 steals in the game, many of which they converted into points at the other end. When Loyola wasn’t scoring easy layups, it almost always was shooting three-pointers; the Wilmette club hit 11-of-35 attempts from beyond the arc against the Blue Demons’ zone.
“(Outside shooting) is a strength of ours,” Loyola head coach Jeremy Schoenecker said. “When we saw them stay in (the zone) the whole way and we were playing with the lead, we knew it would be to our advantage (to shoot from the outside). We told the girls to keep hitting gaps and picking out the shooters, and they did that.”
With the win, Loyola advances to Friday’s regional final (7:30 p.m.) where it will meet No. 6 Evanston, which defeated Von Steuben Tuesday night. The Ramblers beat the Wildkits 36-26 when the teams met in December.
On Monday, Anna Schueler led the Ramblers with 13 points, which included three first-quarter three-pointers. The junior also had seven steals and six rebounds. Loyola senior Kathleen Stralka added nine points and senior Michelle Ricolcol had eight points. Seven different Ramblers hit three-pointers.
Maine East (6-17) was playing without point guard and leading scorer Monay Crawford, and the senior clearly was missed.
Sophomores Shaylee Sloan and Maria Protic led the Blue Demons with six points apiece. Sloan had nine rebounds.
“Our starting point guard was home sick and she handles the pressure (defense) well,” Maine East head coach Karol Hanusiak said. “With her here, I think it would have been a little bit different. I’m not saying we would have beaten them, but I think it wouldn’t have gotten away from us quite so fast.”
Loyola led 18-8 after one quarter, 39-14 at halftime, and 58-22 after three. The Ramblers subs extended the lead in the fourth quarter.