Win from Within
With conference, regional, and sectional title crowns already secured, the girls basketball state run came to a finish Monday night as the Lady Warriors (No. 10) took on the Geneva Vikings (No. 8) and lost a tough battle, 65-46, on the Addison Trails court.
They finished with a 28-4 record, ending their season in the Elite 8 of the state of Illinois.
Maine West fought hard, but struggled to contain Geneva’s Grace Loberg who had 29 points and 18 rebounds. West’s freshman Angela Dugalic, 8 points, held a strong battle against her during the first quarter, exchanging buckets back and forth, but the Vikings soon found a way to get ahead ending the first half, 33-20.
After a tough loss, players, fans, and coaches shed a few tears, but were still proud of all that the girls accomplished this season.
“I’m feeling really upset right now,” sophomore Nadeen Aboebid said in the stands after the game. “I’m tearing up. I can tell they re ally wanted it and they played so hard and with so much heart, so even though they didn’t get it, everything they did was more than enough for all of us fans.”
Reaching super-sectionals was an accomplishment that the girls will continue to celebrate. “It’s the farthest we’ve been since ‘94, and it’s been an unbelievable journey that I am very proud to be a part of,” sophomore starter Rachel Kent said.
“Nobody thought we were going to even win our regional, so winning sectionals shows how much heart our team has to overcome all that adversity,” captain junior Allison Pearson said. “Getting as far as we did while being the underdog in every game would have made (past coach Derril) Kipp proud.”
Of the 28 wins the team had, the most recent ones were perhaps the most remarkable of the year. The team defeated the New Trier Trevians for the regional champion ship, 46-38, on Feb. 16. “Beating New Trier gave us the confidence we needed to keep going strong and helped us believe that we could beat any other team. People expected us to lose to them since we had lost to them earlier in the season, but getting to prove those people wrong just gave us an extra push,” senior Acacia Hernandez said.
Alongside this accomplishment, they overcame the Evanston Wild kits (No.4) in the Class 4A Niles West sectional championship last Thursday. It was an upset for the Wildkits with the Warriors posting a resounding victory, 50-31.
This was one of the many victories for the Lady Warriors in a season dedicated to former head coach and hall of famer Derril Kipp. Kipp coached the girls basketball program for the last 35 years before he passed away last summer, and he led the Warriors to the state Final Four five times in program history. The victory over the Wildkits last week was even more special for the team given that Kipp coached his last game last year against Evanston in the regional finals.
The Warriors have officially returned the favor.