Feb 17, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
With time running out, Marisa Romeo took the shot that, if successful, would send the Christian Brothers Academy girls basketball team past Liverpool in Thursday night’s Section III Class AA quarterfinal.
Sound familiar? It is, because the exact same thing happened in the exact same round one year ago, Romeo hitting the game-winner in the waning seconds to push the Brothers past the Warriors 47-46, though that game took place at Liverpool.
Here, it was in overtime, it was in CBA’s gym, and despite the chaotic nature of the waning seconds and the rushed nature of Romeo’s shot, it sailed toward the basket, hit the backboard, hit the rim, and rolled around the edge twice.
But it did not fall through.
By that tiny margin, the Brothers’ season ended, a bitter 40-39 defeat that the Brothers had every chance to prevent, but could not seize.
Leading for most of the game, CBA appeared safe when Michelle Wiese made a timely steal and fed it to Julie Cuomo for a breakaway layup with 1:31 to play, extending the margin to 36-30. To that point, Liverpool had only managed one field goal in the entire fourth quarter.
Then Shannon Seymour saved Liverpool’s season. The senior guard hit a line-drive 3-pointer with 1:13 left, cutting the margin to 36-33. Then, after CBA turned it over, Seymour flashed open again beyond the arc and, with 42 seconds to play, drained another 3, and the Warriors had pulled even, 36-36.
Both sides had chances to go ahead at the end of regulation. But Cuomo missed on CBA’s end, and Jacy Kocan (who led Liverpool with 11 points) had a 3-pointer go off the rim with one second left.
The overtime period, much like the first four quarters, mostly belonged to the two defenses. Other than Romeo’s free throw, no one could convert until Seymour grabbed an offensive rebound and made a basket with 1:12 left, giving the Warriors a 38-37 lead, its first since the opening period.
After Lyteshia Price made a pair of free throws with 32.7 seconds to play, making it 40-37, CBA used most of the clock to find some kind of open look before Cuomo made a runner with 6.4 seconds left, cutting Liverpool’s margin back to one.
Immediately fouled, Kocan missed the front end of a one-and-one, and as the clock ticked to zero the Brothers, out of time-outs, appeared unable to get any kind of shot. But just before the buzzer, Romeo got open just long enough to let one more shot fly. It almost went in.
CBA never got a chance to play at the fast tempo it wanted, frustrated by Liverpool’s 2-3 zone. Still, it inched to a 22-18 halftime lead and stretched the margin to seven, 30-23, by the end of the third period.
Kocan’s 3-pointer and a three-point play from Rachael Windhausen cut the margin to 30-29, but from there the Brothers swarmed on the defensive side, not allowing much more until Seymour (who had eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter and OT) showed up.
Though the last shot did not fall (barely), Romeo still managed 19 points on the night, while Kelsey Johnson contributed 10 points.
From this year’s 14-5 squad, Johnson is one of just four departing seniors, joining Wiese, Amanda DelCoro and Caroline Webster. The return of Romeo, Cuomo, Olivia Pitonzo and Alyssa Pitonzo, among others, should make CBA dangerous again next season, and the memory of how 2011-12 ended should only add to the motivation.