If I told you our girls’ basketball team did not score a point in the first or fourth quarters of last night’s PSAA semifinal vs. Lawrence Woodmere, you’d likely ask how much we lost by.
But last night, in a defensive battle, the Bears overcame a lackluster offensive effort to pull out a 26-24 victory and return to the championship for a third straight year. It was the fewest points the Bears have ever scored in a playoff victory, coming in a shade under a 29-27 County Championship victory over Mercy in 2007.
In the opening frame, both offenses struggled to find their footing, combining for a single free throw as Woodmere took a 1-0 lead into the second quarter. Though the Bears were ice cold from the field, the Tigers also missed seven or eight scoring chances inside that could have mired the Bears in an early double-digit hole. Instead, both squads got a chance at a fresh start in the second period.
In the second quarter, the Bears found some rhythm, spurred by Niamh Scanlon who knocked down two 3-pointers and scored eight points. Wura Obasanjo added a score as the Bears took a 10-6 lead into the half.
Both teams enjoyed their most productive quarters in the third as the Bears extended their advantage behind a 16-point effort. Scanlon knocked down two more 3s while Obasanjo, Nadia Hall, Sarah Wong, and Parisa Carrano added scores as the Bears carried a 26-18 lead into the final period.
In a such a low-scoring affair, an eight-point lead felt comfortable, but when the Bears offense fell flat once again, the Tigers began to creep back. After four free throws and a bucket, the Tigers moved back within two points with 2:15 remaining. Incredibly, though the Bears would fail to muster a point over the final stretch, the defense held Woodmere in check, holding their best player scoreless in the fourth after she dropped in ten points in the third.
Scanlon led all scorers with 14 points while Obasanjo (6), Hall (2), Wong (2), and Carrano (2) rounded out the scoring.
The Bears return to the championship for the third straight year (one in Section XI, two in the PSAA) and face Portledge on Thursday @ 5:00pm at Portledge.