BRAINTREE, Mass. — If drag-em-out defensive battles are the kind of basketball games that you enjoy watching, then the shootout between Archbishop Williams and Bishop Feehan on Tuesday night was not for you.
The Shamrocks (4-2) nearly came back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, as they had a shot to win it on the line in the final seconds of play in regulation, only to see the host Lady Bishops (7-1) walk away with a 104-97 victory in overtime.
Sara Ryan and Kayla Papazian each scored 24 points to dismiss the Shamrocks for the second time this season.
Late rally nearly finished: The Shamrocks really didn’t have any business being in the game the way the Lady Bishops motored up and down the court at will for most of the night. The Shamrocks struggled to deal with the press by the Lady Knights, but they finally cracked it in the fourth quarter thanks to their outside shooting.
Bishop Feehan scored 41 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and nearly turned a 19-point deficit in the final period of regulation into a victory.
“I’m very proud of our girls effort,” said Shamrocks head coach Mike Deady. “This is a very tough place to play. Our girls never gave up and they fought.”
The Shamrocks fell down 89-80 with less than two minutes on the clock, but they kept firing away. Sierra Schrader swished a 3-pointer, and after a forced turnover, Cara Adams drained a corner deep ball to cut the lead to a single bucket.
“They have the 3-point shooters that can get them right back into the game,” said Archbishop Williams head coach Jim Bancroft. “They can pressure the ball and get some steals. It’s what they did.”
Providence-bound guard Lexi Sells, who scored a game-high 28 points, gathered an offensive rebound and connected off the glass to get within 1. After the Lady Bishops missed the front end of the 1-and-1, Schrader was fouled with an opportunity to win the game at the line.
Her first free throw was good, and her second one went off the rim, but it was deflected out of bounds by a Archies player. Marissa Cicchetti’s open look from distance was off the mark to send the game into overtime.
A Closer Emerges: Bancroft put Ryan right in the fire as the point guard of the Lady Bishops during her freshman year, and two years later she is starting to show the talents that she clearly possesses as the leader of this team.
Ryan added eight steals and nine assists to go with her 24 points, and had the ball in crucial moments in the extra session.
“She had her freshman year to learn and sophomore year to learn,” said Bancroft. “She learned by her mistakes and she’s a lot more confident. If anybody is going to have the ball it’s going to be her.”
Ryan scored the first four points of overtime and added six in the period. She continually took the ball to the hole and Papaziani (11 rebounds) was able to get in good rebounding position to clean up around the bucket to push the lead to 97-91.
“They trust me,” said Ryan. “I have confidence in all of them and they have confidence in me. It’s what a team does.”
The Shamrocks would do their best to claw back with a pair of late 3-pointers, but the early rush by Ryan and the offense was enough to hold on to the lead this time in the waning moments of overtime.