“I was really impressed with the heart that we played with tonight,” said Barrington head coach Stephen Lenz after his team thumped LaSalle, 51-41, handing the Rams their first league loss of the season in front of a packed gymnasium at Barrington High School on Wednesday night.
“This was a very satisfying win. We’ve been practicing with half the team missing the last few days because of the flu,” said coach Lenz. “A lot of girls came out here and played without a game plan and without having really practiced because they were sick in bed.”
The Eagles’ frenzied defensive attack, led by captains Magdalene O’Hayer, Caroline Coleman and Caitlyn Nolan, stymied the Rams’ offense in the first half. Nolan led the team in scoring with 15 points and netted two big three-pointers to put Barrington up by 10, 27-17, with 5:00 to go in the half.
“She is what makes our team run. From our defense to our offense. She’s a complete player and I’m proud of her effort tonight,” said coach Lenz. Eagles’ top scorers were Nolan, Caroline Coleman netting 11 points, and Maura Kelty scoring 9 points.
Leading 34-21, at the half, Barrington forged its largest lead, 15 points, with 11:00 to go. “Lasalle hasn’t lost all year. You have to expect that they are going to make a run at you,” said coach Lenz. And the Rams did make a run late in the second half.
With the jumpers not falling, LaSalle pressed Barrington into some costly turnovers which led to hard-fought lay-ups for the Rams. LaSalle Sophomore guard Davida Dale made a key lay-up off a turnover and a nifty pass to bring the Rams within six, 47-41, with 1:40 left in the game.
During the ensuing timeout, coach Lenz told his girls, “You are going to have to earn it. They (LaSalle) are not just going to give it to you. You’ve got to go out and grab it and take it from them.”
The Eagles took the inbound pass and dribbled up court. They patiently passed the ball setting up a play for senior captain Caroline Coleman. She took an open jumper for two-points, giving the Eagles some breathing room, 49-41.
The Eagles then grabbed a defensive rebound and passed to Nolan who came sprinting up court on a fast break with LaSalle’s Mikayla Murphy the lone defender. Nolan put the ball up, but Murphy came down hard on her arm taking the foul. Nolan finished the scoring by sinking both free throws.
“I know she’s (Nolan) pretty happy because in her four years of playing LaSalle we haven’t beaten them. So I know that was probably on her check-off lists, so now, she can check that one off tonight,” said Coach Lenz.
Barrington improved to 7-1 in D I Central and 10-1 overall. LaSalle is now 7-1 in D I North and 8-3 overall.