Bears Cruise into PSAA Semis

G Basketball 2020
Obasanjo (left) & Hall in action earlier this season (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

Last night, in front of a packed house in Swanson Gymnasium, the girls’ basketball team earned a playoff victory for the third straight season with a 56-27 win over Martin Luther in the PSAA quarterfinals.

Niamh Scanlon got the scoring started with a drive and layup, then followed with a steal and score before putbacks from Nadia Hall and Wura Obasanjo built an 8-0 lead. The Cougars finally mustered their first points on a pair of free throws with 1:01 left in the quarter, and added a third free throw in the waning moments to trail 3-8 after one.

Luther opened the second frame with a 3-pointer to energize their bench, but Scanlon matched it with her own long ball on the next possession. The Bears and Cougars traded punches for most of the quarter, during which Luther stayed within two possessions. After a Luther layup closed their deficit to 14-17, Scanlon hit a layup, Parisa Carrano connected on her second jumper of the quarter, and Elizabeth Robbins banked in a jumper at the buzzer as the Bears took a 23-16 cushion into the half. Though the Bears dominated the boards in the first half, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds alone, they shot just 26.5% from the field, allowing Luther to stay within striking distance.

Luther began the second half with a layup to pull within 23-18, but the Bears answered with a 12-2 run to finally take the bite out of the Cougars. Hall hit a jumper to start the run and Scanlon followed with a 3-point play. After a Luther free throw, Obasanjo recorded consecutive putbacks as the Bears grabbed a double-digit lead for the first time at 32-19. After another Luther free throw, Scanlon splashed her second 3-pointer as the lead swelled to 35-20. The Cougars answered with a layup, but a 6-0 spurt on layups from Hall and Scanlon and a pair of Scanlon free throws pushed the advantage to 41-22. Luther scored a tough layup with three seconds left to trail 24-41 entering the final frame.

Any hopes of a furious comeback were dashed as the Bears opened the fourth with seven straight points thanks to a 3-pointer from Scanlon and putbacks from Obasanjo and Hall. The Bears physically dominated the Cougars down the stretch, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds and eight defensive rebounds in the final period. The Bears salted away the win with a Scanlon coast-to-coast layup and a pair of jumpers from Soraya Carrano, while the defense held Luther to just three points in the quarter en route to the 56-27 win.

Scanlon led all scorers with 24 points. Nadia Hall (10 points/24 rebounds) and Wura Obasanjo (12 points/19 rebounds) were unstoppable on the boards and sapped all the energy from the undersized Cougars. Soraya Carrano (4), Parisa Carrano (4), and Robbins (2) rounded out the scoring for the Brook.

The Bears move on to the PSAA semifinals for the second straight year and face West #1 Lawrence Woodmere this afternoon.


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