By Pat Brozynski

Everything not so sunny in Florida for Marist

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Marist lost three of four games at the Naples (Fla.) Holiday Shootout last weekend.

The RedHawks lost to eventual champion Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett 69-42 in their opener, and after a 53-22 win over Barron Collier, fell to Owings Mills (Md.) McDonogh 51-48 and New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton 71-63.

"The girls got pretty beat up down there," Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly said. "But by the last day, everybody knew what to expect. We played really, really well the last game.

"The girls learned that there's always somebody better than you, and that's why you keep coming to practice and working on your game," the coach added.

There was a bright side to the trip...a real bright and sunny side.

"It was phenomenal down there," Connolly said. "Every day was close to 80 degrees. The girls went to the beach twice, visited downtown Naples, did some shopping. We did a lot of things outside basketball that the girls had a lot of fun doing and really helped build team chemistry."

JeTaun Rouse led the RedHawks with 83 points in four games including 30 in the loss to Owings Mills, but was not named to the all-tournament team.

"My favorite part was when we had dinner at a restaurant just off the beach," Rouse said. "The scenery was beautiful."


Who had the most impressive performance of the holiday tournament season?

With Fremd's 6-foot sophomore guard Haley Gorecki sidelined by injury, everybody at the Montini tournament knew where the ball was going. But the Vikings' 5-foot-9 senior guard Ashley McConnell was still virtually unstoppable.

McConnell had 35 points in a 64-47 victory over Proviso West, 22 points in a 59-41 loss to No. 2 Marian Catholic, 38 points in a 62-47 victory over Zion-Benton, and 14 points in her team's 40-39 win over Romeoville.

But the non-committed senior credited her teammates for her success.

"We've come together as a team," McConnell said. "Obviously, losing Haley is a big impact, but we've been coming together, setting screens, executing our plays, pushing the ball, getting stops on defense. It's a team effort.

McConnell played the entire 32 minutes in all four games at Montini, but looked like she could go another 32 minutes after her 38-point effort against the Zee-Bees.

"I don't get tired," she said. "He's (Fremd coach Dave Yates) pretty good at conditioning us."


Rolling Meadows led Montini 31-21 with 3:51 remaining in the third quarter of the championship game at the Montini Christmas Tourmanent, but it was all Broncos after that. The hosts went on a 21-2 run to put the Mustangs away.

Alexis Glasgow led Rolling Meadows (16-1) with 16 points, but had just two points after halftime. Tournament MVP Jackie Kemph finished with only nine points after scoring 88 her previous three games, and Jenny Vliet added six.

"We had opportunities to extend it a little bit, we just didn't perform very well against their zone," Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky said. "We became a little too stagnant and didn't push the ball as much as we wanted to. That's a credit to them. They had a good game plan against us.

"We kind of rushed some things sometimes," he added. "We wanted to go in-out before taking a shot. We didn't continue to execute throughout the game."

Rolling Meadows led 23-19 at the break, but could have enjoyed a bigger lead had the Mustangs converted a few more free throws (5 of 10) and shots from the field (7 of 33).

"Some of the missed layups...that had something to do with the length and quickness of Montini," Kirkorsky said. "We told the kids they're good shooters and the shots are going to fall, but it was a matter of playing their style of game instead of our style."


You can bet Bogan will be on time in the future.

The Bengals (13-2), led by Cincinnati recruit Brandy Tarver, won the consolation title at Montini. But had the Bogan bus not been 15 minutes late getting to Lombard and the Bengals able to warm up prior to their game with Batavia, they might have been able to advance to the championship bracket.

Bogan defeated St. Francis de Sales, Oak Park and Proviso West to win the backdraw.


Quote: "We were just tango dancing out there." - Plainfield East coach Missy Mitidiero about the physical play and numerous foul calls in the Bengals' loss to Marian Catholic in the third-place game at Montini.


Named to the all-tournament team at Montini were MVP Jackie Kemph of Rolling Meadows, Kateri Stone (Montini), Ashley McConnell (Fremd), Malayna Johnson (Montini), Teniya Page (Marian Catholic) and Alexis Glasgow (Rolling Meadows).

Named to the second team were Nikia Edom (Plainfield East), Ashton Millender (Marian Catholic), Kiera Currie (Romeoville), Megan Walsh (Marian Catholic) and Faith Suggs (Plainfield East).

Named to the all-tournament team at St. Viator were Erin Fabbri and Michelle Presslak (St. Viator); Shaylee Sloan, Elonta Slowak and Jasleen Gonzalez (Maine East); Sidney Montano and Tina Guarino (Fenton); Rebecca Bartnicki and Allison Stieber (Guerin); Joanna Bukowinski (Elmwood Park); and Victoria Galizia (Leyden).

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This page contains a single entry by Back Row published on January 2, 2013 9:34 PM.

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