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When Maine East and Glenbrook North met eleven days earlier, the Spartans came away with the 47-34 win. On Friday night, it was the Blue Demons’ turn, as they flipped the score, triumphing 49-36.
“I was just impressed with how we came out,” Maine East coach Karol Hanusiak said. “We played them a couple of weeks ago at Vernon Hills and we just came out flat and we ended up losing by 14 and we knew we didn’t play smart. We knew we didn’t play the style of game we wanted to play, so that was the challenge today is, hey, let’s go out and let’s play this type of game we know we can play.”
Maine East took control from the early minutes, as Glenbrook North struggled from the field throughout the first half. While the Spartans proved unable to hit a jump shot from nearly anywhere on the court, the Blue Demons established junior center Shaylee Sloan in the post early, as she scored seven points in the second quarter alone.
After scoring just 12 points in the first half, the Spartans heated up after the intermission, scoring 17 points in the third quarter alone. Their offensive outpour came from a wide variety of sources. No Glenbrook North player had more than five points in the stanza, as six different Spartans contributed field goals in the third quarter. What almost all of the baskets did have in common was nearly all of them came from mid-range, the same shots Glenbrook North was missing earlier in the game.
Behind their hot offense, the Spartans were able to trim the Blue Demons’ double-digit lead to six late in the third quarter. They were further helped when Sloan drew her fourth foul with 3:25 remaining in the frame. Maine East’s top interior threat would go on to score just a single basket in the second hafl.
But teammate Jazlene Gonzalez more than filled the void, hitting a tough bank shot right after Glenbrook North drew to within six. The junior point guard’s no-look flick to Mary Younan in the paint gave the Blue Demons a 10-point lead to conclude the third quarter, and her mid-range jumper gave Maine East a commanding 43-32 lead with 3:20 to play. Gonzalez was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points though she likely finished with more assists than baskets.