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Temple's Hail Mary buzzer-beating three stuns Marist in OT

Benet Academy in Lisle was the place to be in Illinois high school girls basketball on a spring-like Sunday evening.

Two Hall of Fame head coaches.

Two undefeated East Suburban Catholic Conference powers and for what it is worth — No.1 Benet Academy (7-0,4-0) and No. 2 Marist (6-0, 3-0) in MaxPreps.com Illinois' girls state basketball rankings.

In this week's Associated Press' Illinois girls state rankings, Marist checked in at No. 3 and Benet was ranked No. 6 in Class 4A.

And the game was an instant classic.

With 11 seconds remaining in the first overtime with Benet Academy clinging to a 46-43 lead, Marist's all-state senior Sydney Affolter (18 points, 11 rebounds) stepped up.

From 25-feet out, the cold-blooded leader of the RedHawks (6-1, 3-1), buried a game-tying three that knotted the game at 46-46.

The Redwings (8-0, 5-0) brought the ball up and found an open junior Margaret Temple (eight points, two 3's) beyond the arc.

Temple fumbled the pass, regained possession, and fired up what she herself called a Hail Mary.

The shot hit the front of the rim and as the clock hit 0:00, the ball fell through the net for a Redwings' 49-46 game-winner.

"When I fumbled the pass, my initial thought was to let the clock run out and we'd go to a second overtime," Temple said. "I thought what the heck and fired up the Hail Mary and my prayer was answered. What a great win for us."

"When Margaret dropped the pass, I thought she would never be able to get the shot off," Benet coach Joe Kilbride said. "Good for Margaret."

The two teams went to the first overtime tied at 42-42.

Marist junior Kira Chivers (13 points, three 3's) split a pair of free throws to give the Redhawks their last lead of the game at 43-42 with 2:54 remaining in the overtime.

Benet's 6-foot-2 Morgan Demos (14 points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots) scored on a beautiful spin move for two and a 44-43 Redwings lead with 2:22 in the OT.

Sophomore Lenee Beaumont (17 points, six rebounds, two 3's) split a pair of free throws for a 45-43 Benet lead with 32 seconds in the OT. Demos split a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left for a 46-43 Redwing lead.

During the final 21 seconds of overtime, Marist's Affolter and Benet's Temple hit long-range three-pointers in totally different fashion.

The two Hall of Fame head coaches — Kilbride (7th season, 186-32, 2 state championships) and Marist's Mary Pat Connolly (407-146, 4th place, 19th season) had an enjoyable pregame conversation before their powerhouse East Suburban Catholic Conference teams went after each other for 36 minutes.

Marist jumped out to 12-9 lead at the end of one quarter led by a pair of three-pointers from Chivers.

The Redwings were led by five first quarter points from Temple, including her first three-pointer of the game that was all-net.

Redwings junior Olympia Kokkines ignited a 10-0 Redwing run to close out the first half with a long-range three. The Redwings took a 24-19 lead into their halftime locker room.

Benet's Beaumont scored 10 of her 17 points in the second quarter, including a pair from beyond the arc, that also were all-net.

Late in the third quarter the Redwings senior leader Kendall Moriarty (five points) picked up her fourth foul of the game. Moriarty had totally shutdown Affolter with her in-your-face defense,

Affolter scored six points after Moriarty left the game, bringing the Redhawks to a 31-31 deadlock with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.

Demos' put-back bucket regained the lead for Benet 33-31 at the end of three quarters. Demos scored seven of her 14 points in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was an individual battle between Affolter and Moriarty.

Moriarty scored all five of her points in the fourth quarter, while Affolter scored six fourth quarter points.

"We knew Marist was a very good team and we were really focused," Beaumont said. "Morgan was a force inside for us. She was finishing her shots, blocking shots and was amazing tonight."

"I had to really focus on my rebounding and scoring against a great Marist team," Demos said. "Lenee (Beaumont) was great and knocked down her threes and was very aggressive in the lane. She was awesome for us tonight."

"Morgan (Demos) has been a force inside for us all season," Kilbride added. "Even if she is not scoring, she bottles up our opponents' defense, that allows our shooters to get open looks. Lenee is special. Heck she's only a little kid. She was special again tonight."

Up next for the East Suburban Catholic Conference leaders is a visit from the ESCC's second-place team, the St.Viator Lions (6-1, 4-1) Wednesday at 7 p.m.


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