Evanston sweeps New Trier; Maine South knocks out Resurrection
Evanston junior Dashae Shumate dribbles around New Trier junior Megan Neuhaus during the sectional semi-finals at Loyola Academy in Wilmette on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 21, 2013 7:16PM
WILMETTE — Sierra Clayborn made three of her four 3-pointers in the third quarter and scored a game-high 14 points to lead Evanston to a 50-35 win over New Trier in the sectional semifinals at Loyola on Tuesday.
The No. 9-ranked and top-seeded Wildkits (26-3) beat fifth-seeded New Trier (16-15) for the third time this season to earn an opportunity at the program’s first sectional championship since 2000.
Evanston plays second-seeded Maine South in Thursday’s final.
“It wasn’t tougher preparing for them again, but we knew they were going to come at us harder than ever,” Evanston senior guard Gabrielle Nottage said of playing the Trevians for a second time since Feb. 8. “We had to come out strong, too.”
Evanston led 25-20 at the half, but New Trier quickly tied it up with five consecutive points, the last coming on a 3-pointer from junior guard Alexa Czyzynski.
But Clayborn responded with the first of three long-range jumpers. The junior guard then closed out the quarter with a trey at the buzzer to give the Wildkits a 38-30 advantage.
The Trevians got no closer than eight the rest of the game.
“She definitely gave us some momentum,” Nottage said of Clayborn. “When we need to score, she is there for us.”
Evanston senior guard Erin Boothe contributed 10 points in the win. Czyzynski scored a team-best nine points for the Trevians.
Maine South 54, Resurrection 37
Seniors Jacqui Grant, Regan Carmichael and Mackenzie Duffy all came up huge as the Hawks got back to the sectional final for the first time since taking third place in Class 4A in 2011.
Up 24-22 at intermission, the trio combined for a 12-0 run to send No. 12 Maine South (27-5) on its way to the win.
Grant finished with a game-high 17 points, while Duffy and Carmichael each scored eight points apiece.
“Our big three need to play well for us to advance,” said Maine South coach Mark Smith, whose team split two games with Evanston during the regular season.
The Bandits (20-12) were led by junior guard Kate Moriarty, who scored 15 points.