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Hinsdale Central looked sluggish in the first half, but made up for it in the second half behind sophomore guard Gabrielle Rush.
Rush scored 11 points in the third quarter to more than double Warren’s total of five for the period as the Red Devils cruised to a 45-35 victory Friday night in the 23rd annual McDonald’s Shootout at Willowbrook.
Rush finished with a game-high 27 points and matched her career high with five 3-pointers. She played sparingly in the fourth quarter. Three of her treys came in the third quarter when the Red Devils outscored the Blue Devils 17-5. The quarter included a 10-point run for Hinsdale after Warren scored the first basket of the second half on Alyssa Phillips’ rebound and layup.
Phillips led Warren (11-9) with only seven points. All five of Warren’s starters scored, but Rush outscored the group by six points.
“I though (my shots) were definitely falling in,” Rush said. “We added a couple of new plays (this week) off the pick and roll.”
Hinsdale (14-5) led 23-21 at halftime after falling behind 10-4 to open the game. Hinsdale didn’t take its first lead until Rush score five consecutive points in the second quarter on her second 3-pointer of the game and two foul shots to give Hinsdale a 21-19 lead with 1:33 before the half.
Rush did not score in the fourth quarter on two shot attempts. She outscored Warren’s entire team after the third quarter. Warren ended the quarter with 26 points. Hinsdale had 40 points.
“I thought we played pretty well (to begin) the game,” Warren coach John Stanczykiewicz said. “We let it go for four minutes. (The score) went from three to 15 points. I thought we were doing well and then we lost control of the game.”
Warren could not contain Rush, who matched her career high for 3-pointers after making five each in wins over Hinsdale South and Stagg in the Hinsdale South Thanksgiving tournament. Her career high for points in a game is 32 in a 58-48 victory over Hinsdale South Nov. 15.
Hinsdale returned to the McDonald’s Shootout after missing last year’s event. That ended a 12-year streak of appearances. Hinsdale won for the fourth time in its last five games and has won two in a row since losing first place in the West Suburban Silver in a defeat to Proviso West 54-46 Jan. 11.
“We were sluggish. Definitely, that first quarter was not good,” Hinsdale coach Tom McKenna said. “Sometimes you do (worry that Rush does too much). Sometimes she’s on.”
In Rush’s 11-point third quarter, Hinsdale shot 7 of 9 from the field while Warren was 2 of 13.
Warren plays Lake Forest Saturday in a return to play in the North Suburban Lake. Hinsdale plays at York at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the conference.