Marist has spent much of the 2013-14 season chasing success.
On Monday, the RedHawks almost caught Kokomo (Ind.), but came up just short in a 54-49 loss at the Willowbrook Classic.
Tehya Fortune and Madison Naujokas had 10 points each, Katelyn Rosner 12 rebounds and seven points, and Brooke Wyderski 11 rebounds and seven points for Marist (9-10).
Alanis Jones had 21 points and Jasmine Love 13 for Kokomo.
“I feel like we’re getting closer and closer every game,” Naujokas said. “We’ll just have to work on our plays. We’ll push through.”
Naujokas and Fortune are two of six sophomores on a RedHawks team that has suffered typical growing pains. Marist is still looking for its first East Suburban Catholic victory.
The RedHawks appeared to turn the corner in an upset victory over Mother McAuley on Jan. 15.
They got an early jump against Kokomo, leading 6-3 early after baskets by Rosner, Naujokas and Wyderski. It didn’t last long, however, as the Ladykats hit three three-pointers during a 12-2 run.
Kokomo’s lead swelled to 28-19 late in the second period before Marist scored on four of its last five possessions of the half to get back within five.
Two free throws by Fortune created a 37-37 tie late in the third period, but as they did on several occasions during the contest, the Ladykats answered via long-distance.
The three-pointer by Iesha Wallace that broke the final tie was one of seven Kokomo treys.
“I feel like every time we scored and we’d get closer, we’d kind of relax a little,” Fortune said. “We left a lot of people wide open, and that hurt us a lot.”
The RedHawks didn’t let Kokomo get far away, and with 1:50 remaining Katie Houbolt swished a three to get them within 46-44. The Ladykats, however, were able to hang on at the free-throw line, hitting nine of 12 attempts in the final two minutes.