Let’s not, ahem, try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes here.
The girl can play.
The girl — Evanston High School’s Leighah-Amori Wool — took her game to another level in Monday night’s Class 4A sectional semifinal at Niles West.
Wool was … wildly good.
The senior 6-foot guard/forward poured in a season-high 29 points in her team’s 56-45 victory over Loyola Academy.
“We needed to do a better job against Wool,” said LA head coach Jeremy Schoenecker.
Wool, who has signed a national letter of intent with Western Michigan, was an obstructionist.
Every time the Ramblers (21-11) tried to put a sustained rally together, there was Wool getting in the way.
The best example of that came midway through the fourth quarter.
The Ramblers, not ones to ever give up, managed to cut a 20-point deficit in half, when sophomore guard Julia Martinez (10 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals) turned a steal into a fast break layup.
All of sudden, with that hoops version of a “pick six”, the Ramblers found themselves trailing 42-32 with 5:07 left in regulation.
So much for the miracle comeback. Wool, who wears No. 23, answered that LA run by scoring the next six points of the game.
LA also got within 10 points, 53-43, with 1:02 left to play, when junior Adie Morrill drained her second three-pointer of the fourth quarter. But time eventually ran out on the Ramblers.
“We were chasing them the whole game,” said Schoenecker.
The game started out like a track meet. Evanston had leads of 11-2, 20-5 and 25-9 in the first half. And then the Kits started the third quarter with a seven-point spurt.
And yet, the Ramblers never folded.
And that will be Schoenecker’s takeway from the 2016-17 season.
“I’ll always remember the toughness of this team, and how they hated to lose,” said the veteran LA coach. “They have no reason to hang their heads after winning 21 games and a regional title.”
LA’s leading scorer was senior Clare Nelson (15 points).
And, for the second playoff game in a row, junior Erin Dillon displayed her shooting range. She went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc to finish with nine points.
Junior Lilly Wehman ended up with 14 rebounds and two blocks.
Loyola Game Balls: Clare Nelson, Julia Martinez
Evanston Game Ball: Leighah-Amori Wool
Player of the Game: Wool
LA Stat Leaders: Nelson (15 points), Martinez (10 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals), Erin Dillon (9 points, 3 3-pointers), Adie Morrill (6 points), Lilly Wehman (3 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks)
Evanston Stat Leader: Wool (29 points)
Notable: Evanston (26-3) will face Maine West in the sectional title game on Feb. 23. Maine West, which has no seniors in its starting lineup, topped Maine South 44-43 in the other semifinal game on Feb. 20.