Boston High School: Missy Perry

St. Mary's fends off Coyle, moves to D3 state final

March, 14, 2011

BOSTON –- For a moment, Coyle-Cassidy appeared ready to extend the MIAA Division 3 State semi-finals with St. Mary’s of Lynn to overtime, but Warriors senior guard Brenna Gonsalves’s half court shot with three seconds left sailed away from the rim and allowed the Spartans to walk off the TD Garden parquet with a 53-50 victory.

“I think Coyle-Cassidy is an excellent team and Brenna [Gonsalves] is a tremendous player, but in that fourth quarter again, it looked like we had them and we can’t break press, which we’ve done all year, but we had just enough to get [the win],” said St. Mary’s head coach Jeff Newhall.

“The kids fought [until] the end. We didn’t shoot that well today,” said Coyle head coach Mike O’Brien. “We can’t say anything about the heart about these kids. They were down by nine came back and we were probably about 10-seconds short.”

The Spartans scored early and often once the game began with an 8-0 run. Although, the Warriors would respond from their slow start, as Gonsalves led Coyle with nine points while junior guard Missy Perry who added four points during the second quarter. Yet, the slow start kept allowing St. Mary’s to build the lead and score easy baskets in the paint.

St. Mary’s kept adding points during the second quarter, but watched their largest lead of the period, 19-12 turn into 22-19 lead at halftime. The Warriors also did a tremendous job at defending Gonsalves and provided a great deal of pressure to their offense.

“We talked about, specifically Gonsalves, trying to give that one shot hopefully no shots. I thought Tori [Faieta] and Cassi [Amenta] were very effective on the boards and Ann Marie [Idusuyi] when she was in there thought played excellent as well,” said Newhall. “I thought for the most part, the idea was to try and slow Gonsalves down first and foremost”

“I think we just got going a little too late this time,” said Gonsalves.

Entering the third quarter, the Warriors took off with the lead, as they added an additional 15 points thanks to Amenta and freshman guard Jennie Mucciarone, who helped their team begin the second half by converting their first four field goals in a row.

Yet, the size of St. Mary’s continued to force Coyle to literally only one shot on their various offensive series.

“I think it bothered us a little bit,” said Gonsalves. “We’ve played teams this size like that and somehow we just didn’t adjust to well.”

Although, the Warriors eventually put together a late rally during the final few minutes of the fourth quarter that featured 13 points from Gonsalves and six points from Perry.

However, with time against them, Coyle & Cassidy started committing fouls and watched their state championship dreams slowly drift away, as St. Mary’s connected on [8-10] free throws during the fourth quarter and a majority of those points came on behalf of Amenta, who converted four points from the line.

“It’s a senior moment, but Cassi goes to the line [and goes] four for four at the Boston Garden with people streamlining and yelling and that’s how you get to this point,” said Newhall.

With the win, St. Mary’s will play their biggest game of the season at the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday March 19.

“Everyone left it out on the court, everyone played with heart again,” said Gonsalves. “Its now how we wanted it to end, but we have a lot to be proud of this year, couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Coyle rallies to capture D3 South title

March, 12, 2011
BOSTON -- Missy Perry took a kick-out pass from her Coyle-Cassidy teammate Andreya Desousa, knocked down a three-pointer from the left wing and uppercut the air with both fists as the student section behind her erupted.

Then her Archbishop Williams defender threw away the ensuing inbounds pass, and Coyle's Tricia Quinn nailed a long two from the top of the key off a dish from Brenna Gonsalves. Two possessions later, Perry took a long outlet pass off DeSousa's board, stopped and pivoted underneath the rim and dished across the lane to Gonsalves for a 65-60 lead.

A few flicks of the wrist, and the momentum in this Division 3 South girls final at UMass-Boston's Clark Athletic Center capsized in a snap. The Warriors trailed Archie's 49-40 headed into the final frame, but with 14 points from the Adelphi-bound Gonsalves and eight big boards from Quinn, they rallied furiously to win going away, 70-63.

"I looked up, and all of a sudden it was a two-point game (trailing 60-58), you don't realize it because you're such in the flow of the game," smiled Coyle head coach Mike O'Brien. "That's just a lot of credit to them. They work hard. What we did, the little things we've talked about all year long -- making free throws, rebounding, boxing out -- the really simple stuff really played out for us. And we had a couple big shots, of course."

Indeed, this was about all the little things adding up. Sure, Gonsalves (32 points, six rebounds, three assists) was her usual all-everything self for the Warriors, going 5-for-7 from the field and 4 of 6 from the line in the final frame to lead the comeback -- "She's tough to stop," said Bishops head coach Jim Bancroft. But early on, they struggled with the brute strength of Archie's post players, particularly Alex Dean, Kayla Papazian, and 6-foot-1 freshman Olivia Conrad.

Combating the stout lower-body strength of the Bishops' forwards forced an economy of motion out of the 6-foot Quinn, a mentality that ultimately paid off in the final frame with eight boards. She finished with 14 rebounds to go along with 14 points.

"I really just focusing on paying attention to where my feet were on the floor, and making sure I was inside of them," Quinn said.

Gonsalves couldn't be happier for her teammates' mettle in the waning minutes.

"It was a matter of going out there and playing with heart, and just playing as hard as we possibly could," Gonsalves said. "I think everyone stepped up, so that's what got us the win. Everyone played with heart, everyone played their role perfectly."

The Warriors led by as much as 12 before the Bishops finished out the half on a 12-3 run to trail, 34-30. They continued the momentum in the third quarter, opening with a 12-0 run, to lead 49-40 headed into the final frame.

But the good fortune turned costly late in the third quarter, when Papazian drew blood from the top of her head after taking a foul off the rebound. The senior captain was relegated to the bench the rest of the game, barking out words of encouragement to her teammates.

"It was big for us," Bancroft said of losing Papazian who had eight boards. "She's our leader on the court, leader off the court, and she gives the kids encouragement. She gives them focus. She communicates. So that hurt us a lot."

Sophomore Sara Ryan led the Bishops with 18 points, while Conrad added 12.