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Cloudy,43°
Thursday, December 18, 2014
South Side's offense clicks in win
Steven Ryan/Herald
Juniior Juliana Pellegrini is running the point for the Lady Cyclones, who broke out offensively last Friday to beat Jericho.

Despite winning more (four) than it lost (three) in December, South Side’s offense hadn’t topped the 50-point plateau and none of its players netted more than 11 in any the seven games.

That all changed for the Lady Cyclones last Friday night when juniors Jessica Hawley and Hanna Merrifield led a 59-52 home victory over Conference A-I rival Jericho. Hawley scored a career-high 22 points, including a clutch three-pointer with 1:30 remaining, while Merrifield added 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior Charnae Jenkins and junior Bridget McFadden chipped in eight points apiece.

“We’ve had balanced scoring prior to tonight, and up to 10 kids score in some games, but it’s nice to see some kids step up offensively,” South Side coach Katelyn Dunn said after her team improved to 2-1 in conference games. “We’ve been up and down a little bit, but I think we’re finally starting to believe in ourselves.”

Of Hawley’s seven field goals, three came from behind the arc. She added five free throws and doubled the team’s previous season single-game high of 11 points set by McFadden five days earlier and twice by junior Juliana Pellegrini earlier in the campaign. “Jessica has the capability to score,” Dunn said. “She’s just starting to get into the flow after a long soccer season. She scored from everywhere. She shot with confidence, and everyone else was feeding off her.”

Hawley scored nine of the team’s 14 first-quarter points, and the Lady Cyclones all caught fire in the second quarter and built a 37-25 halftime lead. Pellegrini’s work at the point was one of the keys, Dunn said. “Juliana did a nice job of getting the ball where it needed to be,” Dunn said. “She’s so versatile and good at reading teammates. She takes over when we need her to take over.”

The 23-point second quarter was not only the best for South Side all season — it surpassed any of its halftime totals through the first seven games. “We didn’t play too well in the Freeport Tournament,” Dunn explained. “We had a lot of turnovers and were taking shots out of character.

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