Girls Basketball: L-W East Finds McMahon, Defense in Second Half of Win over Sandburg
Lincoln-Way East 51, Sandburg 42: Caitlin McMahon scored 18 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, and the Griffins tightened up their defense en route to a Southwest Suburban Blue girls basketball victory on Tuesday night.
The Skinny: Caitlin McMahon was missing in action during the first half of Lincoln-Way East’s 51-42 girls basketball victory over Sandburg on Tuesday night in Frankfort. So was the Griffins’ perimeter defense. McMahon worked harder to get open under the basket in the second half. Her teammates fed her the ball. And she scored 18 of her game-high 20 points. East, after allowing Sandburg to hit five 3-pointers in the first two quarters, fought through the Eagles’ screens and tightened up their defense over the final two quarters. The Griffins limited Sandburg to four points in the third quarter and two second-half 3s.
Patch’s MVP: Caitlin McMahon, 6-0 senior forward, Lincoln-Way East. McMahon made 8-of-12 shots and scored a game-high 20 points. She scored 18 in the second half. She also grabbed six rebounds.
Key Moments: Sandburg made its first four shots in the second quarter—all 3-pointers—and built a 20-14 lead. Lincoln-Way East responded with a 12-4 scoring run to end the first half. Amy Jacobsen capped the run with a 3-pointer with :09 left to put the Griffins ahead 26-24. Taylor Johnson blocked a shot by the Eagles’ Carly Katalinic at the buzzer.
Sandburg Leaders: Ashley Youngwirth (17 points, 4 3-pointers), Rachel Ruzevich (7 points, 6 rebounds), Carly Katalinic (6 points), Jen Pache (6 points, 5 rebounds).
Lincoln-Way East Leaders: Caitlin McMahon (20 points, 6 rebounds), Taylor Johnson (12 points, including 5 straight to start the third quarter), Amy Jacobsen (10 points, 2 3-pointers), Dana O’Grady (3 points, 1 3-pointer).
Quotable I: “I think the whole team started off sluggish in the first half,” Lincoln-Way East’s Caitlin McMahon said. “At halftime, the coaches told us to get tough. And everyone got tough. I think that helped.”
Quotable II: “East, obviously, is a great team,” Sandburg coach Chris Hellrung said. “Our effort was great. But we had about three or four possessions where we relaxed. And when you relax against a team like that they capitalize pretty much every time.”
Quotable III: “We talked defense—not so much about Caitlin (McMahon) and getting the ball to her,” East coach Jim Martin said of his halftime speech to his girls. “She was a different player in the second half. But were disappointed defensively on their screens. For some reason, a light bulb went off. They’re a smart group of girls. We said, ‘When you see a screen, we can switch it. We can help. Step out and show you know they’re going to come off that screen and shoot it.’ We made those adjustments.”
Team Records: Lincoln-Way East is 21-3 and 9-2 in the Southwest Suburban Blue. Sandburg is 13-11 and 6-5.
What’s Next: Sandburg plays host to Homewood-Flossmoor at 6 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 2). Lincoln-Way East takes on district rival Lincoln-Way Central at 7 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 2) in Frankfort.