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Maeve Egan leads Sister McAuley past Richards

If you watched Sister McAuley this winter, you may have noticed the senior guard. Maeve Egan.

Whatever the situation, whether it’s as captain meeting the referees before a match or meeting teammates in distress, he’s always the one with a smile.

That’s the way of leadership for the Mighty Macs, according to the senior forward. Morgan Feil.

“We all joke about it,” Feil said of Egan. “He always has a smile on his face during training and games. “He’s smiling, he’s happy and he’s motivated and I think that really helps the team.”

On Monday night, McAuley once again helped Egan lead the team as they opened the Class 4A playoffs with a 58-30 win over Richards in a Lyons Regional semifinal game at La Grange.

Feil led all scorers in the Mighty Macs (24-7) with 17 points, while the sophomore guard Quinn Arundel He scored 12 points. Egan scored six points on a pair of 3-pointers and added three steals.

But he did much more than that. Take the third quarter for example; Great defensive play led to two key turnovers for McAuley, which seamlessly blended into a 17-1 run.

But it’s this postseason, and there’s a sense of urgency that you’d expect for Egan, too. For example, he wasn’t too happy with his team’s slow start.

“We started off really slow,” he said. “This is not how we wanted our game to look. We got that in the second half and it was good. It was a good win but we don’t get along.

“We want to continue.”

Anne McAuley’s Maeve Egan (22) tackles Richards in the third quarter of the Class 4A Lyons Regional semifinal on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in La Grange. (John Konstantaras/Daily Southtown)

For the record, he said that last part with serious determination.

Meanwhile, Richards (11-16) got eight points and seven rebounds from the senior guard Iyanah Crosby. But no one on the Bulldogs scored more than four points.

Curtis LewisHe didn’t know much about Egan, who was in his second year as the Mighty Macs’ coach, coming into the job, but quickly learned about his infectious personality.

“That was one of the things I noticed about McAuley when I first came to him,” he said. “People lead in different ways. “I think for him it’s a smile-making situation where the team can kind of relax when it’s a two-point game in the fourth quarter.”

As a seventh-grader in 2019, Egan watched McAuley finish as the state runner-up in Class 4A.

Anne McAuley's Maeve Egan (22) defeats Richards' Iyana Crosby (1) in the first quarter of the IHSA Class 4A Girls Basketball Regional semifinal at Lyons Township High School on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in LaGrange.  illinois  The Mighty Macs advanced to the regional finals by defeating the Bulldogs 58-30.  (John Konstantaras-Daily Southtown) |  3156497_STA-L-GBK-LYONS-REG-0214
Anne McAuley’s Maeve Egan (22) takes a shot against Richards’ Iyanah Crosby (1) during the first quarter of the Class 4A Lyons Regional semifinal on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in La Grange. (John Konstantaras/Daily Southtown)

The player Egan identified with was the point guard Jenna BadaliHe led the Mighty Macs with 13 points in their 58-46 loss to Maine West in the championship game. Badali currently plays for Lewis.

“I went to the state game and watched him,” Egan said of Badali. “I liked the way he played and how competitive he was.

“The atmosphere was really crazy. The McAuley student body is truly unlike any other school.”

Egan also played volleyball for McAuley and won state not once but twice.

He moved to St. Louis with plans to become a speech pathologist. He wants to experience this one more time before he starts playing basketball at Xavier and studying communication sciences and disorders.

Anne McAuley's Maeve Egan (22) leaves the game in the fourth quarter of their IHSA Class 4A Girls Basketball Regional semifinal game against Richards at Lyons Township High School on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024 in LaGrange, Illinois.  The Mighty Macs advanced to the regional finals by defeating the Bulldogs 58-30.  (John Konstantaras-Daily Southtown) |  3156497_STA-L-GBK-LYONS-REG-0214
Anne McAuley’s Maeve Egan (22) takes on Richards in the fourth quarter of the Class 4A Lyons Regional semifinal on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in La Grange. (John Konstantaras/Daily Southtown)

“It really is a feeling like no other,” Egan said of winning back-to-back state championships. “People exaggerate this, but it’s really worth the hype.

“Morgan and I talked to the team at the beginning of the season and said we wanted to experience this with you and take it outside of the city.”

The next few weeks will test his leadership skills, but his smile will turn into victory.

“I may not be the loudest, but the energy feeds off each other,” he said. “And this game is a game that builds momentum most of the time.

“If I am positive and get everyone going, everyone will be positive.”

Gregg Voss is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.

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