Things will be much quieter the next time the Bishop Kearney girls’ basketball team works on its free throw shooting.
“Let’s put it this way, we are not talking during them,” coach Cathy Crockett said. “There will be no conversations and laughing and giggling.”
That’s because there was nothing to smile about at the line for the Tigers in the final seconds against St. Mary’s Bay View (R.I.).
Kearney shot 1-of-6 with less than 30 seconds left and missed a change to pull out a win even after a turnover-filled performance. With the Tigers trailing by one, Meaghan McGoorty and Caitlyn Furlong, who shot with 1.6 seconds left, each missed two free throws and St. Mary’s Bay View held on for a 60-57 win at the Big Apple Recruiting Christmas Classic at Bishop Ford Sunday. Kearney also suffered from poor foul shooting in a loss to Cicero-North Syracuse on Saturday.
“We take free throws after every drill we do,” senior Kaitlyn Rose said. “But we do talk a lot.”
Christina Hiltunen scored 20 points and had a superb fourth quarter to give Kearney (4-4) a chance at the win. She connected on two 3-pointers in the quarter and found Furlong for a basket to give Kearney a two-point lead with 1:00 left. A Furlong free throw made it 57-56 with 26.8 left, but Nichole Vargas (12 points) hit two free throws to make it 58-57 with 13.3 remaining.
“She is like the energy on the team,” Rose said of Hiltunen.
Yet, in the third quarter it was Rose providing the spark. Kearney spent most of the quarter giving St. Mary’s (6-0) the ball like it had Christmas wrapping paper and a bow around it, but Rose (11 points) was able to keep the Tigers in position to make their final push.
St. Mary’s led 40-32 with 4:33 left in the quarter before Rose scored Kearney’s next six points, including a layup on the baseline from Erin Tierney to make it 43-38 with 2:45 left.
“I had a smaller girl on me, so I felt like if they gave me the ball we probably would have had more point, but it’s an all-around team so they can’t always look for one person,” Rose said.
Crockett was a bit surprised to still be that close in a game in which her team was turning the ball over as frequently as it was against St. Mary’s full-court pressure in the third quarter, but the reason for it was a familiar one.
“They were working hard,” she said. “That’s what kept them in the game.”
They just fell short of finishing it.
“The game was there for us to have,” Crockett said. “It was.”