SYRACUSE Far too many times, the Christian Brothers Academy girls basketball could only watch as Corcoran’s Mary Morgan squared up and sent her line-drive 3-point shots toward the rim, and watched them crash through the net.
It happened eight times overall, and that, combined with Morgan’s contributions down the stretch, led the no. 3 seed Cougars past the no. 2 seed Brothers 64-61 in Friday night’s Section III Class AA semifinal at Le Moyne College.
All told, Morgan had 29 points, a career high, as she fueled a 21-0 run in the second quarter that turned the game around, and continued to hurt the Brothers multiple ways until she sank the clinching free throws in the waning seconds.
Since it had moved up to the Class AA ranks, CBA had never reached a sectional final. Doing so required beating a Corcoran side that had a solid combination of inside power and outside shooting prowess.
They started out trading 3-pointers. The Brothers fared better in the early trade, connecting five times beyond the arc in the first quarter against Corcoran’s 2-3 zone, three of them from Olivia Pitonzo.
Up by nine, 15-6, at one point, CBA allowed the Cougars to pull back to 19-14 by the time they reached the second period, only to move the lead back to 26-16, appearing to seize control.
Just as quickly, though, Corcoran erupted. Led by Morgan, the Cougars stunned the Brothers for those 21 unanswered points in a span of less than five minutes to take the lead for good.
Morgan had 11 of those points, three times draining 3-pointers, adding to the two she already had made, on her way to 17 first-half points. Aside from Morgan’s outside shooting, Corcoran got two baskets apiece from Brandi Fowler and Zachia Gayle during the surge.
Not until Julie Cuomo’s 3-pointer in the last seconds of the half did the run end. CBA found itself trailing 37-29 at the break, needing to change its defensive approach if it wanted to rally.