The girls basketball team improved its shooting thanks in large part to Maggie Reilly.
The junior guard did not start for the first time this season, but wound up scoring a game-high 19 points to lead the host Friars past Carmel 61-41 in an East Suburban Catholic Conference opener Wednesday night in Oak Park.
“I was kind of shocked,” Reilly said about not being in the starting lineup. “I just realized that I had to work that much harder in the game tonight.
“In this game we worked together as a whole to get more open shots. In the previous games I was just rushing my shot. I wasn’t necessarily that open, but in this game we were all moving the ball really well so I was able to get better shots.”
Reilly scored 13 points in the first half, including eight during a 12-0 run that vaulted Fenwick (6-1, 1-0) ahead 23-12 with 3:20 left in the first half.
“Maggie Reilly had a really nice game,” Friars coach Dave Power said. “This was her best game of the season. You know how you start and you’re all wound up? We thought she’d come in a little more composed (coming off the bench) and I think that worked tonight.”
When Reilly opened the second half with a 3-pointer, it gave the Friars a 31-21 lead and her more than half of her team’s points with 16. It also triggered a 10-0 run that pushed the home team to a 38-21 advantage.
Another 10-0 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Paige Corvino and Marek Burchett, in the third quarter enabled Fenwick to stretch its cushion to 48-26.
Jade Owens finished with 13 points for the Friars, who shot 29 percent (23 for 79) from the field. It’s not accuracy to brag about, but it’s better than the 20 percent they shot in a 53-32 loss to Loyola six days earlier.
“Our cold shooting is killing us,” Power said. “We’re getting the attempts. We’re just not knocking ’em down. We’ve got to slow our shot down.”
“We can still improve, but I think all of us are doing the same thing, just rushing our shot,” Reilly said. “The game before Loyola we played Proviso (East) and we got all of our shots blocked so that’s why we kept rushing them so we wouldn’t get blocked. But the teams we’ve been playing haven’t had good shot blockers like that so we need to take our time.”
Fenwick’s fast-paced tempo ignited by its press caused Carmel (5-3, 0-1) to commit 42 turnovers, including 24 in the first half.
“Fenwick has been good for so many years that there’s definitely a mental (factor) coming into the game,” Corsairs coach Kelly Perz said. “I know that a lot of girls are intimidated just because of the name on their jersey. I think that was the case tonight.
“We just played too fast, scared. We didn’t take care of the ball and we didn’t make our layups.”
“I was very happy,” Power said. “The effort tonight was tremendous. Last game I thought we were a little bit sluggish. I thought tonight we really pushed hard.”
Fenwick’s leading scorer, Yale-bound 6-foot-1 center Meredith Boardman, did not play for the second game in a row for breaking a school rule.
“Boardman will be playing soon,” Power said.