As it turns out, Coach Mary Fendley won’t have to walk around the halls of Hersey High School like a crazy person.
A dominant fourth quarter effort from the Huskies propelled them to a 57-35 win over the defending state champions, keeping their unbeaten record intact.
“I remember thinking six weeks ago when it didn’t look like the season was going to happen I was going to be some crazy lady walking around saying that I had the best team in state that never got to play,” said Fendley.
“It’s kinda validating that people recognize us as a special team and I think we’re all just thrilled to be a part of it.”
Hersey were paced by sophomore Katy Eidle, who led all scorers with 26 points and got the Huskies off to a blistering start with a 10 points first quarter.
The Huskies were able to break down Fremd’s zone with ease, getting open look after open look en route to a eight point first quarter lead.
“We were just moving the ball and really aggressive penetrating,” said Hersey senior Mary Kate Fahey. “The penetration led to open shots, and the ball movement was just great.”
In addition to Eidle’s scoring prowess, Fahey chipped in on both sides of the ball, keeping Fremd senior Ruthie Montella in check, while running the Hersey offense.
In addition to her 12 points, Fahey dished out eight assists, grabbed four rebounds, and came away with two steals.
“Everybody know what a special ball handler she is,” added Fendley. “But her defense on Ruthie tonight, nobody thinks about MK as good a defender as she is. She’s just so tough and she makes us go.”
While Fremd managed to keep it close during the middle to frames thanks to Maddy Fay’s 13 point, 12 rebound performance, and Hersey seized back the momentum early in the fourth quarter.
After doing most of the heavy lifting in the scoring column throughout the first three quarters, Eidle found Avery Larson (12 points) on back-to-back possessions, nullifying any potential Fremd run.
Eidle said: “We knew Fremd kept jumping the overlap, so we adjusted the play and once we got it to Avery once we knew we could keep that up and get to her again.”
One final three pointer for Eidle, followed by Montella fouling out midway through the fourth quarter, iced the game for the Huskies en route to their 22 point win.
While the win over Fremd puts Hersey in a dominant position in the MSL, the Huskies have been careful not to look to far ahead in this shortened season.
And while expectations are understandably high, Coach Fendley and her squad are content with rolling with the punches and enjoying every bit of season that the Huskies have left.
“I’m just in the mode of being so grateful to be playing right now,” said Fendley. “A few weeks ago I wasn’t even sure we would be playing and we’re doing out best one game at a time.”
Hersey will next face off against another ranked team in Maine South while Fremd will look to bounce back in conference play against Conant.