Reilly delivers for Friars under pressure
Mundelein Saturday, 1/5/13 Fenwick's Maggie Reilly (13) during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game at Vernon Hills. Fenwick won the game, 66-62. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 11, 2013 6:39AM
MUNDELEIN — In Fenwick’s run-and-gun offensive system, players appear to be interchangeable parts.
During timeouts, as many as five players will substitute in, replacing the entire lineup.
“It’s like a hockey line switch,” senior Maggie Reilly said. “The first five go in, then the next five.”
But if you watch the Friars play, those parts aren’t so easily interchangeable. Take Reilly, a 5-foot-9 senior guard, for example.
For three seasons, Reilly has been a varsity member of the Friars. She has the experience of playing in Dave Power’s unique system. And while all players have the green light to shoot, Reilly’s beyond-the-arc firepower can have more impact on team success.
“Maggie’s our 3-point shooter. When she’s hot, she can put nine or 12 points on the board, lickety split,” Power said. “In the system we run, that’s pretty important.”
Consider this: After the Dundee-Crown Holiday Tournament, the Friars had a week off from game action. They did practice, but with a skeleton crew thanks to illness and travel. When Fenwick played its first game of 2013 on Saturday, it was as rusty as a 1983 Cadillac left out in the snow.
Despite making just six 3-pointers in the first half, the Friars led Carmel 36-28 at the break. They could not shake the pesky Corsairs, and with six minutes left in the game, Carmel had cut the Fenwick lead to three, 50-47. The Friars needed someone to make a shot to stem the Corsair tide.
“If we need a 3, we can count on her to kick down a pressure shot from far out,” junior guard Jada Owens said.
Which is just what Reilly did. Her three-ball from the center of the arc splashed in, the catalyst for a 14-4 Friars run. Carmel would cut the lead to four in the final minute, but Fenwick made its free throws and held on for a 66-60 victory.
For the game, the Friars shot just 9-of-37 from three-point range. Reilly finished with 10 points, none of them more important than that clutch 3-pointer when Fenwick was reeling.
A three-year varsity volleyball player, Reilly plays the position of setter. She believes the hands-on nature of that role bleeds into basketball.
“You touch the ball on every play. I think it really helps,” Reilly said. “There are times you have to perform, have that mentality. It really forces me to be a leader on the court.”
Even in Fenwick’s five-in, five-out system, it needs leaders like Reilly. Out with the flu, she didn’t play in the Friars 73-70 loss to Joliet Catholic Dec. 13. It was the first time in school history Fenwick had lost to Joliet Catholic.
“I didn’t mention it because I don’t like excuses. For this style of ball, we need Maggie’s 3-pointer contributions,” Power said. “(Against Carmel) she had a big one that gave us a boost.”
So when you see Fenwick make its next line change, notice whether No. 13 is in the game.
Maggie Reilly may be interchangeable, but he’s equally irreplaceable.