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Queen of Peace making plenty of noise

12/03/2012, 6:08pm CST
By Tony Baranek tbaranek@southtownstar.com

Fueled by a huge win over St. Ignatius, Queen of Peace is off to a promising start this season

Queen of Peace 50, St. Ignatius 46.

It’s been a long time since the score of a basketball game has caused as big a stir in the Pride community.

“There were so many parents who were surprised,” Peace coach Mike Valente said. “I was getting calls from former players who were like, ‘Oh, you beat Ignatius? Great job, great job.’ I said to Dar (athletic director Darlene Graf), ‘Am I the only one not surprised?’ ”

Probably. Queen of Peace hasn’t had a winning season since 2002. Big victories have been few and far between. The previous time Peace beat St. Ignatius was ...

“You know what, I don’t think anyone at the school can remember, it was that long ago,” Valente said. “I can’t remember even the last time Peace was 2-0 in the GCAC Red.

“Nobody has wanted to look in the record books for so long, maybe it’s time we dust them off.”

The Nov. 27 victory over St. Ignatius was followed by a conference conquest over Regina and improved Peace to 4-4 overall. In both games, senior Hannah Lipman scored in double figures. In the 47-41 victory over Regina, she posted a double-double along with freshman Courtnee Williams.

Lipman, a 5-foot-9 guard, is the team leader in scoring (13.5 ppg), rebounding (11.0 rpg) and assists (4.0 apg). Senior Kaitlyn McCarthy leads the way in steals with 4.4 per contest.

Defense has been a strong point for the Pride. In a Nov. 26 encounter with Providence, the Celtics didn’t score until 2:34 remained in the first period. It was 17-7 Peace with 6:30 left in the first half.

“One thing we keep stressing is, we want to be mentally and physically tough,” Valente said. “We’re not a huge team, so we want to make sure we’re putting a body on somebody. Whenever we have a dry run scoring, we want to make sure we lock it down defensively. The kids are starting to see the fruits of their labor.”

Hawks bounding well

Height is serving Hillcrest well during its 5-1 start, with 5-11 Mariam Awoniyi, 6-3 Lorielle Little and 5-9 Shayla Joyner combining for 24.6 points and 25.0 rebounds per game.

“Their multidimensional skills have translated well for us,” Hillcrest coach John Maniatis said. “Our post players put a tremendous amount of time working on their fundamentals and they are having fun finishing at the rim.”

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