Maybe the Christian Brothers Academy girls basketball team is developing a habit for winning close games - and if so, it hopes that trend continues on a permanent basis.
The no. 5 seed Brothers squeaked past no. 4 seed Liverpool, 47-46, in Thursday night's Section III Class AA quarterfinal, trailing most of the night before Ellen Voorheis sank two free throws with 13.1 seconds to play. Then it had to watch as the Warriors' Sydney Califoux missed a close-up shot as time ran out.
This came less than a week after CBA had secured the OHSL Freedom National division regular-season title by rallying in the last minute to beat Jamesville-DeWitt 46-44. Then, as now, Voorheis put in the winning points in the final minute to rescue the Brothers after it was behind through much of the contest.
CBA had met Liverpool back on Dec. 17, during the Traci Zimmer Memorial Tournament at Central Square. That time, the Warriors prevailed 52-46, but the close nature of that contest gave the Brothers a reason to think a playoff rematch would turn out different.
But neither side impressed in the first quarter. In fact, CBA did not get a field goal until the game was more than seven minutes old. Still, when Olivia Pitonzo hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, the Brothers only trailed 12-8 going into the second period.
Thanks to Shannon Seymour's eight points off the bench, Liverpool expanded its margin to 25-17 by halftime. But CBA fought back in the third quarter, again riding the talents of sophmore Marisa Romeo, who had seven of her 16 points in that frame to pull her side within one, 31-30, as the final period began.
Twice in the fourth quarter, Liverpool stretched out its lead, to 36-30 and 42-37, the latter when Ally Zywicki banked in a 3-pointer. Both times, CBA closed the gap, finally tying it 42-42 on Voorheis' 3-pointer with 4:22 left.