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When Hinsdale Central girls basketball coach Tom McKenna found out that Lily Sarros was going to play Friday, despite battling the flu all day, he challenged the senior forward.
“I told her Michael Jordan used to go off and get 40 points when he had the flu, so you owe me 50 points and 50 rebounds,” McKenna said. “It looked like she might do it in the first quarter.”
While McKenna was joking with the fourth-year varsity player, Sarros did come up big to help the Red Devils beat host Downers Grove North 64-58 in a key West Suburban Silver contest.
Sarros scored 11 of her 20 points in the first quarter and finished with seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Hinsdale Central (15-6, 8-2), which was playing its 11th straight road game, was coming off a tough conference loss to York last Saturday, but remains in the title hunt thanks to the win against the Trojans.
Hinsdale Central hosts Oak Park-River Forest Saturday and plays conference leader Proviso West Tuesday to wrap up conference play.
“It was really big for us,” Sarros said. “We feel like we can beat every team in this conference. While there’s great competition, we’ve been working really hard as a team. It was great to get our confidence back. We really wanted to redeem ourselves and show what Hinsdale Central is all about.”
Hinsdale Central enjoyed its biggest lead of the game at 22-12 with 7 minutes, 12 seconds left in the second quarter, but Downers North (8-13, 3-6) rallied to take its only lead of the game at 53-52 with 3:52 left in the game. Sophomore Gabrielle Rush (20 points, five rebounds) answered with a long three-pointer and the Red Devils led the rest of the way.
Downers North was led by junior Sarah Costello, who had 22 points, nine rebounds and five steals.