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Lincoln-Way West’s Amanda Hozzian remembered it.
All the Warriors did. It would have been hard to forget a 31-point December drubbing to Stagg.
Given a second chance, West made the most of it, racing to a double-digit second half lead Thursday and managing to hold on for a 46-45 home win over Stagg, giving the Chargers their first conference loss.
“We worked so hard the first three quarters, and in a close game, it was so important to close it out,” Hozzian said. “We had to prove it in the fourth.”
Hozzian led West (9-9, 4-4) with 14 points and 10 rebounds with Danielle Morgan (11 points) and Stephanie McDonald (eight points) contributing in the SouthWest Suburban Red win.
An energetic Warriors squad simply ran past the Stagg defense for three quarters, regaining a 10-point advantage on a McDonald alley-oop layup at the buzzer.
“I knew Stagg would make a run at some point,” West coach Ryan White said. “We had to do enough to hold them off.”
White’s worry was spot-on, the Chargers shooting their way back into the game from long range. Casey McMahon (nine points) drilled two three-pointers, Hannah Henderson (six points, eight rebounds) scored inside, and Alexa Janus caught a long pass from Revi McMahon (14 points) for a fast break score.
Stagg finally clawed to within a point at 46-45 on a Janus baseline jumper with 46 seconds left in the fourth. In a chaotic final minute that featured four timeouts, three turnovers and no shot attempts, the Chargers would get no closer.
An errant pass in the final five seconds proved to be the end for visiting Stagg (14-4, 7-1).
“Revi and Casey are such great players so that last minute our goal was to shut them down,” Hozzian said. “We made sure we had weak side defense against them, and that really helped. It worked.”
Janus chipped in with nine points for Stagg.
Lincoln-Way West attempted just five shots in the fourth, making one.