In both wild games, one team led by 19 at the half only to have the other rally in the second half. The one very glaring difference Friday though was that Mary Louis never took the lead after trailing by 20 at the start of the fourth quarter and St. Francis Prep held on for a 46-41 win in a Brooklyn/Queens CHSAA Division I tiebreaker game played at Christ the King.The Terriers, which led 39-19 with just more than five minutes left in the fourth quarter, earn the No. 5 seed in the upcoming Diocesan playoffs and will face fourth-seeded Bishop Kearney in the first round while No. 6 Mary Louis will take on third-seeded Bishop Loughlin in the other first round game. Both games will be played March 1 at Archbishop Molloy.Top-seeded and undefeated Christ the King and No. 2 Molloy will get a first round bye."I'm happy we won, I am," said a very relieved JoAnn Wagner, the Terriers first-year coach. "The team needed a win. It's very important for us to hold on at the end."Throughout the year, St. Francis Prep (6-16) has been the team to rally after falling behind early, but smarting from the loss at Mary Louis two nights earlier, the Terriers came out strong. Led by junior guard Gina Catherall, who had 9 of her team-high 12 points in the first half, St. Francis Prep went on a 17-1 run to take a 26-7 lead into halftime."We felt that after losing that game we thought we had to come back and beat them," said Prep forward Shatira Miller, who had 10 points and 5 rebounds. "We just wanted to come back and show people that we can still play together as a team."Three times during the first half, Mary Louis coach Joe Lewinger used timeouts to urge his team to relax, to calm down. But as their deficit grew larger and larger, the nerves grew greater and greater.Perhaps it was a verbal confrontation between Catherall and Mary Louis' Melissa Velez in the third quarter, but Mary Louis (8-17) scored 7 of the first 10 points of the third quarter and there was new life for the Hilltoppers.But still, when Miller scored from inside five seconds into the fourth quarter, St. Francis Prep led 39-19.That's when Casey Shevlin took over.The Mary Louis sophomore guard scored 16 of her game-high 25 points in the final 5:15 and led the Hilltoppers furious comeback. Mary Louis pressed and St. Francis Prep turned the ball over. Again and again and again."There was a lot of things said during the game and a lot of things were getting to people's heads," Catherall said. "I think we were all getting caught up in the moment."A pair of free throws by Shevlin brought Mary Louis to within 44-41 with 25.6 seconds left and a second later Prep's Josephine Raccuglia stepped on the sideline. Mary Louis had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer and it was Shevlin who took the shot from the top of the key with 11 seconds left."That fourth quarter performance by Casey Shevlin was awesome," Lewinger said. "It wasn't even her getting the ball and going down on offense, it was her stealing the ball and she played on both sides of the floor."But Shevlin, who got to the basket with ease throughout the game, made perhaps her lone mistake of the fourth quarter. Her shot bounced off the rim and Miller clinched the game for St. Francis Prep with a pair of free throws with 8.9 seconds left."I was thinking go to the basket but they were just stuck in the paint, all five of them, so I just tried to pop one," Shevlin said. "It just didn't fall."Archbishop Molloy 55, Bishop Loughlin 36. Jessica McEntee had 13 points and 12 rebounds and E.J. Dreyer added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for Molloy (12-13) in a tiebreaker game last Thursday.Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2005 Community News Group
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