Overtime hasn’t been a favorable place for Bishop Ford.
The Falcons have had two excruciating losses, both in double overtime, to Mary Louis and John F. Kennedy at home this season. So past memories resurfaced after Bishop Kearney’s Meaghan McGoorty scored on a put back with six seconds left to tie the score and send the game to OT.
“I was just like, ‘Here we go again,’” junior guard Shayra Brown said. “I was like ‘Oh my god.’”
But luckily for Brown and the No. 5 Falcons, the ending was different this time. They took a four-point lead in overtime and then held on, thanks to some missed free throws by Kearney and a stifling defense, for a 70-63 win in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls’ basketball quarterfinals at Bishop Ford Tuesday. Ford advances to play No. 1 Christ the King in the semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m. in Middle Village.
“We’re bound to win one,” senior Catherine Cassidy said of overtime games.
The loss ends a six-game winning streak for No. 4 Kearney and for Ford avenges back-back to back losses to the Tigers, the second of which cost them the league No. 1 seed in the CHSAA Class A state tournament. The Falcons (10-15), who came in on a six-game losing streak, won by 39 in the team’s first of three meetings.
“They are a big rival,” Cassidy said. “We lost twice, first time we beat them. It’s just hard losing twice to a team we beat. We came here with our all.”
No one more than Cassidy.
She scored 12 of her 13 points in the second half, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists. Brown had 20 points and eight rebounds and Justine Hughes came off the bench to score 14 points.
“She kept us energized,” Falcons coach John LoSasso said of Cassidy. “He played with her head. She made good decisions and she made some tremendous baskets.”
He used a hesitation dribble to get into the lane often for layups and drew numerous fouls, though missed the free throws that would have completed two 3-point plays. Cassidy also drew a key offensive foul late in the fourth with Kearney (11-14) looking to tie the score.
“I’m thinking I’m Shaq on the line,” she said.
Her second opportunity at a 3-point play gave Ford, which led the majority of the game, a 57-53 lead with 4:19 left in the fourth. Kearney got a free throw from Sam Retas and a 3-pointer from Kaitlyn Rose to tie the score at 57 with 2:31 remaining.
The Falcons again went up three after a jumper by Hughes, who filled in nicely for both the foul-ridden Vanessa D’Ambrosi and Brittany Lewis, and a free throw by Brown. Kearney sent it into overtime tied at 61 on a layup by senior Christina Hiltunen and McGoorty’s put back.
Ford grabbed a 63-61 lead with 1:20 left in overtime on fast-break layups by Anjali Moncrieffe and Brown. Three missed free throws by Kearney’s Caitlyn Furlong stalled the hopes of a Kearney comeback. McGoorty scored 21 points, Rose added eight and Maureen O’Sullivan scored 12, all on 3-pointers, helping to keep the Tigers in the game in the second and third quarters.
“This was a tough loss,” Kearney coach Cathy Crockett said. “But the big one was last Friday when we got the [Brooklyn/Queens] No. 1 seed in the ‘A’ [state] tournament.”
Kearney will still head in confident following a long winning streak and a resilient performance against Ford – not to mention a bye in the first round of states.
“We had to fight back more than them,” Crockett said. “We had to struggle more offensively then them.”