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As Lincoln-Way East has dealt with a variety of injuries over the last three weeks, Kara Krolicki has been a rarity for the Griffins.
The junior guard has not only stayed healthy but stepped up when her team needed it most.
Scoring 20 points, 17 in the second half, Krolicki helped lead Lincoln-Way East to a 47-36 win over host Lockport Tuesday in the SouthWest Suburban Blue.
“I knew I had to step up with everyone else going down because they’re so key to our team,” Krolicki said. “We needed someone to step up, and I try to take the court knowing my team needs me.”
Meaghan McMahon finished with 10 points for East (19-7, 10-3) as she continues to recover from a concussion. Claire McMahon added six points for the Griffins.
Struggling mightily through the first half, East fell behind 18-15 at halftime thanks to a 1-for-15 performance from the field in the second. The offense finally started to click in the third as Krolicki drilled two three-pointers and hit three free throws.
“After half, our bench got up some, and we started to hit some shots,” Krolicki said.
The junior’s three late in the third gave East its first lead, 29-28, since a 15-14 advantage in the second. She added three more scores in the lane in the fourth as she drove to the basket with abandon. Dana O’Grady connected on a three with Haley McCabe hitting a midrange jumper as the Griffins pulled away for good in the fourth.
“Kara has stepped up for us, big time, with the injuries,” East coach Jim Martin said. “We’re trying to do some things for her.”
Lincoln-Way East shot a sizzling 6-for-7 from the field in the fourth, outscoring the Porters 18-8. Lockport (10-13, 5-8) finished 13-for-39 from the floor.
“We just let up on defense in the third,” Lockport coach Krista Peterson said. “We played tough for three quarters.”
Anna Novak led the Porters with 16 points.