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Maine South's Jacqui Grant shoots over Evanston's Alecia Cooley in Park Ridge January 18, 2013. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Maine South withstood a furious fourth quarter rally to defeat Evanston 39-38 Friday night in Park Ridge.
Evanston (17-3, 6-1) trailed 37-29 after a basket by No. 9 Maine South (18-2, 5-2) center Jacqui Grant with 5:11 left in the game.
But back came the No. 15 Wildkits, thanks mostly to the play of Sierra Clayborn, who scored a game-high 18 points and hit four three-pointers.
The ball was in Clayborn’s hands as the clocked wound down from 10 seconds. She made a move in the lane and lost control of the ball with two seconds left and the loose ball was grabbed by the Hawks’ Hailey Schoneman to end the comeback bid.
“That was definitely a nerve-wracking game,” Maine South’s Regan Carmichael, who scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and added four assists, said. “But we kept our composure.”
“Our kids fought hard,” Evanston coach Elliot Whitefield said. “We got after it a little bit more at the end.”
Maine South built its fourth-quarter lead thanks in-large part to a 37-19 rebound advantage. Hawks 6-3 center Jacqui Grant pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with 12 points and 4 blocked shots.
Mackenzie Duffy scored 11 points for Maine South, while Evanston’s Alicia Cooley had 8 points and 8 rebounds.
The contest was close throughout, with Maine South maintaining a 22-20 halftime lead and a 33-27 advantage after three quarters.
“When our top three players (Grant, Carmichael, Duffy) are playing well, we’re tough to beat,” Maine South coach Mark Smith said.
Note: After the game, Schoneman was on crutches with a soft air cast on her left leg. She suffered the injury during the scramble for the loose ball she recovered at the end of the game. Plans were for her to get the knee x-rayed.