Shumate, Evanston survive Niles West
Evanston's Dashae Shumate drive upcourt vs. Niles West during the girls basketball on Thursday, January 31, 2013 in Evanston. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 1, 2013 12:28PM
EVANSTON — The Evanston girls basketball team played flat, but did just enough in overtime to beat visiting Niles West 41-37 in Thursday’s Central Suburban South contest.
The Wildkits (22-3 overall, 8-1 conference) scored the first four points of the extra session and then knocked down three free throws in the final minute to hold off the pesky Wolves (4-17, 2-7) and keep their hopes of an outright conference title alive.
“(Niles West) outworked us, they outplayed us,” Evanston coach Elliot Whitefield said. “(Niles West) Coach (Tony Konsewicz) did a great job. They executed some plays down the stretch. We won the game, but I really believe (Niles West) deserved to win this game. Those kids played really hard.”
Whitefield said his team’s lethargic play and lack of focus could have been related to the Senior Night festivities that took place prior to the game, or the result of fatigue from final exams. The Wildkits also were without junior guard Seara Clayborn, who is nursing a knee injury.
Junior Dashae Shumate, who transferred to Evanston from Niles West before the season, led the Wildkits with 11 points. Senior Alecia Cooley had eight points and nine rebounds. Junior Sierra Clayborn had seven points, including the first basket of overtime. Senior Gabrielle Nottage had four of her six points in overtime.
Evanston shot just 14 of 42 in the game and hit just three of nine free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Senior guard Molly Kleppin led Niles West with 14 points, including a driving layup with 11 seconds remaining in regulation that tied the game 34-34.
Wolves sophomore forward Julia Easter had 12 points and seven rebounds. Easter’s 3-pointer with 49 seconds left in the extra session brought the visitors to within one, 38-37.
“Before the game we talked about it, that it was a Senior Night (for Evanston). It’s an emotional time and we talked about getting off to a quick start. Molly (Kleppin) helped us get off to that quick start by going to the basket strong,” Konsewicz said. “We told the girls this is preparing us for the playoffs. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Evanston, which remains a game ahead of Maine South in the loss column of the conference standings, closes out its regular season next Friday at home against rival New Trier.
Pick up your local Pioneer Press newspaper on Feb. 7 to read more about the Niles West girls basketball team.
Evanston 41, Niles West 37 OT
Niles West (4-17, 2-7)
Katherine DeLara 4, Molly Kleppin 14, Michelle Karp 4, Jasmine Townsend 0, Julia Easter 12, Jalynn Estrada 0, Kacie Simkins 0, Jenny Jenkins 0, Jessie Simkins 0.
Evanston (22-3, 8-1)
Sierra Domonique Brown 0, Khadean Stephens 0, Gabrielle Nottage 6, Erin Boothe 2, Alecia Cooley 8, Dashae Shumate 11, Sierra Clayborn 7, Maureen Kerr 5, Wali Deutsch 2.
Niles West 10-4-9-11-3 — 41
Evanston 8-10-12-4-7 — 37
3-point goals — Niles West 3 (Easter 2, Karp), Evanston 3 (Shumate 2, Clayborn). Fouled out — Boothe.