Mother McAuley and Benet Academy walk into Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University for the 4a State Semifinal game. Lauren Stack and Clara Prasse return to state as seniors after winning it all as freshman in 2016. The Mighty Macs are coached by three time all state player from Waubonsie Valley, Ashley Clanton.
Macs up 5-4 early when senior Grace Hynes pulls up from deep and buries a three, 8-4 Mother McAuley.
Later in the first, Nikki Murphy to Jenna Badali who hits the driving layup for two, McAuley up 12-6. The Macs looking for a repeat of December’s 19 point victory over the Redwings.
Benet with a size advantage down low and Ashley Berry gets it to Ashley Konkle who puts in two of her four first half points, BA down 15 to 8 after one.
Redwings settling down in the second with a nice press break, Prasse to Stack to Konkle to Brooke Schramek who converts the layup, Benet down three 15-12.
Later in the half, Ashley Berry to Lauren Stack who scrapes the arena ceiling with this three pointer before it splashes home. Benet down 20-16.
Just before halftime , Grace Hynes with the nice drive and finish despite some contact. The senior with a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds on the night. McAuley up 7 at the break.
The Redwings come out swinging in the second half, Brooke Schramek passes back to Kendall Holmes who knocks down the wide open three, 26-22, Benet down four.
Next trip down and Holmes with the quick feed inside to Konkle who seals off her defender and makes room with the fake, BA down two after the layup.
After a three from Hannah Swiatek, Lauren Stack hits Brooke Schramek in the corner for the answer, Benet down 29-27 midway through the third. 13 in the game for Schramek.
Key moment in the game as Benet trails 31-30 with just over 2 minutes left in the third, Kendall Holmes with a great look down low, but her shot rims out and Mother McAuley grabs the rebound. Redwings can’t take their first lead and trail 33-30 after three.
A couple minutes into the 4th and Grace Hynes with some great moves inside for two more. McAuley pulling away up by 10.
Under two minutes to play, and Holmes with a good pass to Schramek for a bucket, the Redwings with a 9 minute scoring drought as they now trail by 7.
Jenna Badali puts the game on ice from the free throw line. The junior goes 15 for 17 from the stripe while Benet only makes 8 of 19 from the line. Mother McAuley hangs on for a 48-38 victory. The Mighty Macs will face undefeated Maine West in the state championship while Benet will face Hononegah in the third place game.