Girls Basketball: Top-ranked Marist knocks off H-F againHillcrest's Shannise Heady and Rich Central's Chaz Duson stretch to grab a loose ball Wednesday in a semifinal of the Hillcrest Holiday Classic.
Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 28, 2011 11:11PM
As closing acts go, it wasn’t exactly a four-star performance No. 1 Marist turned in down the stretch in Wednesday’s 51-44 semifinal victory over No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor in the Hillcrest Holiday Classic.
“Yeah, well, we did better than last time I think,” RedHawks junior Claire Ryan said.
In their previous meeting, at the Marist Thanksgiving Tournament, the RedHawks saw a big fourth-quarter lead melt to just three points.
This time the Vikings were only able to cut a 10-point deficit down to five.
Ryan led Marist (15-0) with 18 points. Leah Bolton added 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Asianna Bey 13 rebounds.
H-F (11-4) got 18 points from Danielle Woolfolk and 13 from Charnelle Reed.
Marist and Hillcrest will meet for the tournament title at 7 p.m. Thursday, after H-F and Rich Central battle for third place.
Marist led just 27-26 three minutes into the third period when a bank-in shot by Brooke Wyderski started an 11-1 run. Ryan capped it off with a three-point play.
H-F clawed back to within six points at the break, but never really found a rhythm in the fourth quarter. Marist had several chances to run off and hide, but during one stretch missed five of six free throws and frittered away a few other opportunities as well.
“I guess we were just rushing it,” Ryan said of their free-throw misses. “We have to make them.”
Bolton made 2-of-4 charity tosses and Ryan a layup in the final 42 seconds to keep H-F at bay.