By Jerry Del Priore
It was an uneven game played between Bishop Kearney and Cristo Rey Brooklyn — not the best by the Tigers, head coach Rocco Sellitto said. But Bishop Kearney managed to lean on their star player, senior Casey O’Shaughnessy, once again, who drilled a game-high 49 points in its 68-57 victory over the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) Class B Panthers.
“We played flat,” Sellitto said of his club’s first half malaise. “We come out in the beginning of the game flat. Lot of the times we wind up winning the game, sometimes even by big scores. But we come out flat in the beginning. We can’t keep doing that every game.
“And then we get in a touch situation; what do we do? We put it on Casey’s shoulders again, he added. “If half of those points disappear, we lose this game? We got to figure something out. We got girls capable of scoring, they’re just not doing it.”
The Tigers (7-3) raced out to a 10-0 advantage before Cristo Rey (4-8) posted its first three points of the contest with 2:58 left in the first quarter. Bishop Kearney closed out the period ahead by a score of 20-9.
But the Panthers went on a 9-0 run, that closed the gap at 20-18, in favor of the Tigers. Bishop Kearney posted four points to give it a short-lived lead before Cristo Rey went on another run — 8-0 — to claim its first advantage of the tilt at 26-24.
Just like she’s done all season long, O’Shaughnessy sunk two big free throws to knot the score at 26 with 3:42 remaining in the first half.
Both teams went back and forth before senior Kathleen Egan hit a bucket that sparked 6-0 run and sent the Tigers into the locker room with a 36-30 advantage.
To Cristo Rey’s credit, it hung in their and tied the game at 40 with approximately three minutes left in the third quarter. Much to the Panthers’ dismay, O’Shaughnessy drained six straight points to the opposition’s two, for a 46-42 lead at the end of the period.
The five-foot-seven-inch Marine Park resident nailed a three, followed by two of four successful free throws for a ten-point advantage with 5:09 remaining in the affair.
Senior Anne Baghdadi made it a 12-point game and O’Shaughnessy helped ice Cristo Rey down the stretch.
Sellitto gave credit were it was due, as he noted that the Panthers are a gram on the rise, and could be moving up a division next season.
“They’re doing a great job there. Every time we play them, there getting harder and harder to play, there’s no doubt about it,” the veteran coach said, in all earnest. “Players are getting better, well coached, organized on the court, take advantage of their strengths, which you want a team to do. That’s why they’re getting better. They’ll be in the A Division next year, I think.”
Bishop Kearney faces St. Joseph at St. Francis College Monday at 6:00 p.m. in a CHSAA Brooklyn-Queens league contest.
Please view the video below for Casey O’Shaughnessy’s three-pointer.
Please Check out my second blog @NYNJEntertainmentEats.com.