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Saturday, March 10, 2012
D3 South Girls: Fairhaven 62, Archies 59

By Matt Noonan

BOSTON –- Entering the fourth quarter trailing Archbishop Williams by two, Fairhaven put the game in the hands of senior captain Kara Charette, whose seven free throws helped the Blue Devils escape, 62-59 in the Division 3 South Sectional Finals at UMass-Boston's Clark Athletic Center.

“Everyone was getting frantic, so they threw me the ball, and they happened to foul me, so I just went to the line, and did what I had to do at the end,” said Charette, who finished with 24 points.

Fairhaven (22-2) began the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run, but Archies (20-6) rallied, as junior Sara Ryan connected on back-to-back triples with 10 seconds remaining before sophomore teammate Olivia Conrad fouled Charette immediately on the ensuing possession.

“I thought it was any other free throws,” Charette said of her final two free throws. “If I think ahead, it will mess me up. I just [had] to think its one free throw [at a time].”

Charette then sank shots from the stripe before Archbishop Williams’ Conrad attempted a last-second heave from beyond the arc, which didn’t reach the iron.

“[Charette] did what we thought she would do, and we couldn’t stop her,” Archbishop Williams head coach Jim Bancroft said. “We tried to double-down on her, but they played a great game today, we just weren’t there mentally all the way through.”

“Kara Charette’s not a surprise to anybody this late in her career, and no matter who we play,” said Fairhaven head coach Jeff Perry.

Both teams swapped leads throughout a majority of the first two frames, but it wasn’t until the third quarter when Fairhaven gained a little momentum with a three-pointer by senior Kayli Moniz, as well as a pair from Charette at the stripe, which provided the Blue Devils with a 34-30 advantage.

Although, the Blue Devils' lead was quickly erased, as the Bishops tallied 11 points and ended the third frame with a 41-39 lead before Fairhaven earned the lead for good from senior Kelsey Perron-Sovik’s jump shot.

“No matter who we play, I think what happens is [our opponent] underestimates the supporting cast. We have a lot of people that can finish and we can actually enjoy the double team at times because we’re working off of that,” said Perry.

“They played a solid game, they didn’t do anything wrong,” said Bancroft. “They rebounded well, they scored, they defended, and they were just better today.”

No Momentum for Archies: Despite a rather back and fourth three quarters, along with numerous lead changes, Bancroft didn’t believe his team gained any sort of momentum.

“I didn’t feel any momentum at all this game,” he said.

The Bishops ended the first half with a one-point advantage, as well as a two-point lead once the third quarter concluded. But missed shots, rebounds and turnovers hampered Archbishop Williams’ pursuit to preserve a lead.

Charette Appreciated the Physical Play: Both teams began the game recording numerous fouls and exhibiting physical play, but that didn’t seem to bother Charette, who claimed it somewhat helped her get in a groove and become more comfortable on the court.

“It’s great to be pushed around because I haven’t had that all season,” she said. “Getting pushed around is what it’s about, it’s the playoffs, and this is what’s supposed to happen.”

Even Perry agreed that the physical play somewhat helped his team, as well as get rid of the pre-game jitters out of the Blue Devils system, too.

“I think both teams were feeling each other out, nerves at this point, but I thought we fought through it,” added the head coach.

Next Stop -- TD Garden: Fairhaven will return to the hardwood on Tuesday when the Blue Devils face Pentucket in the MIAA Div. 3 State Semifinals, which certainly is something Charette is looking forward to playing in.

“It’s like a little redemption for Kara. She gave a couple speeches the last few weeks what it meant to the town, and what it mean to [her sister’s team four years ago],” said Coach Perry.

Charette seemed focused after Saturday’s game concluded, and explained that she’d like to finish this particular season with a championship for her sister’s team, which lost in the Div. III South semi-finals in 2008 to Cardinal Spellman.

“This is all about revenge for me, so this is awesome,” said Charette.