Historic Season Comes to an End at the Hands of Undefeated Maine West Team

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Historic Season Comes to an End at the Hands of Undefeated Maine West Team

Eddie Scheidler, Girls' Basketball Beat Reporter

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PALATINE, Ill. – Program all-time win record. Regional Champs. Sectional Champs (first in school history). Super-Sectional appearance. Won all three season tournaments. Coach Kyle Wilhelm became the program’s winningest head coach. Senior Grace Tirzmalis and junior Halle Douglass joined the 1000 point club and earned NSC First Team All-Conference nods. Young players stepped up.

Despite falling to an undefeated Maine West squad 53-34 in Tuesday night’s Super-Sectional Title bout, the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team has much to celebrate after a memorable record-breaking season. Though the Warriors put the breaks on an impressive postseason push from Wilhelm’s bunch, by no means should a single member of the program hang her head. The accolades speak for themselves. Losses–especially when you’ve come as far as a trip to the Super-Sectionals–are never easy. But in all the hardship that comes with defeat, there are always the positives. Going forward, the Scouts know they have what it takes. They’re a talented young, tightly-knit core that can go the distance. As tough a pill as the loss of seniors Grace Tirzmalis, Ellie Pearson, and Ainsley Allan will be to swallow in the upcoming season, Lake Forest should have high hopes and an unwavering sense of confidence in the road that lies ahead.

As for Tuesday night’s tilt against the No. 2 ranked team in the state and 12th nationally (Maxpreps.com), the Scouts were seemingly outplayed from the get-go. In the absence of Pearson due to an undisclosed ailment, Wilhelm’s group was down from the start. Combine that with an ebullient Warrior offensive attack and just like that, the Scouts finally appeared to have met their match.

Coach Kim Demarigny’s team jumped to an early lead and seemed to control the pace of the game. Headlined by 6’4” junior forward Angelia Dugalic, the opposing competitors dominated inside the paint and got as good of looks as they could’ve asked for around the rim.

Offensively, turnovers quickly piled up for the underdogs, as the Royal Blue and Gold amassed an astonishing 18 at the half’s closing. Categorized by sloppy passes, hesitant post play, and missed layups, the first two periods were atypical of the style of basketball we’ve come to expect from this group on the year. At the break, the Scouts trailed 27-13, the hopes of clawing themselves out of such a deficit gradually fading away.

The second half followed a similar pattern. With made shots still a rarity and the opposing Warrior duo of Dugalic and senior Vanessa Reyes picking apart a notoriously relentless Scouts’ defense, the contest soon got out of hand. The game was all but over when Tirzmalis, behind a nine point surge in the third, set the Scouts on a run to bring the score within eight.

Unfortunately for Scouts’ fans, it was too little too late as Maine West stopped them in their tracks and silenced any talks of a comeback with a ten point tear of their own. Going into the fourth, the gap was extended to 18 as the traveling Comp Crazies began to take in the harsh reality unfolding before their very eyes.

In the final period, Demarigny was able to let her reserves ride things out to the final horn. And for the first time in weeks, the trademark resiliency that helped Wilhelm and Co. knock off Libertyville and Fremd in the Sectional rounds just wasn’t enough to save them this time around.

All things considered, Maine West was deserving of the win. Notching their 33rd consecutive win, the Warriors keep on rolling forward to the state’s Final Four, halting as inspiring a season the school has ever seen from the Girls’ Varsity Program.

With the loss, the Scouts cap off their historic season with 27 wins under their belt. Though their year ended with a Super-Sectional Title lingering just around the corner, there should be no doubts surrounding this team: they will be back before you know it.