By Jerry Del Priore
Playing sans standout point guard Casey O’Shaughnessy for five minutes and two seconds and up by four points with 1:32 left in the third period, Bishop Kearney was able to hold off St. Edmund Prep for the 66-58 electric overtime CHSAA Class A win.
The Tigers (8-4) have made a habit of leaning on O’Shaughnessy when the going gets tough. But Bishop Kearney had contributions from multiple players, including senior Kathleen Egan and junior Bridget Rose, who both scored nine points, while junior Emily Perry chipped in with six and seniors Anne Baghdadi and Marie Collins had two each in the victory over the Eagles.
Head coach Rocco Sellitto sang Egan’s praises, but not only for her scoring. He said she put the ball right where it needed to be in several situations. He also gave credit for Bishop Kearney’s improved second half defense, making it harder for St. Edmund to get off quality shots.
“Kathy really played a good game today, even not only scoring, but just moving the ball to the right spot,” Sellitto said. “(Our) defense definitely helped out. I thought our defense in the second half was good, also. We made it harder for them. Early in the game we gave them a lot of uncontested shots. In the second half, we had a hand in their face a little bit more.”
The Tigers trailed the Eagles, 16-15, at the end of the first quarter, with O’Shaughnessy poring in 10 points.
However, Bishop Kearney took a 17-16 lead on a Perry basket early in the second period.
Both teams went back and forth until the Tigers went on 8-4 run, capped by a Rose bucket, for a 34-27 advantage with 41.1 remaining in the half.
But St. Edmund (4-12) scored four consecutive points to slice the deficit to 34-31 going into the locker room.
O’Shaughnessy drained seven straight points for a four-point lead before getting injured in the third quarter.
Bishop Kearney managed to increase the advantage to 47-42 while O’Shaughnessy iced her knee on the bench from the third to fourth periods.
Then the five-foot-seven sure-shooting senior, who was inserted back into the contest for just 15 seconds, slightly hobbled and all, drilled a three-pointer to swell the Tiger margin to 50-42 with 4:30 ticks on the game clock.
Chomping at the bit to return to action, the 17-year-old dynamo knew her squad needed the win.
“I wanted to come in so bad,” O’Shaughnessy said of painstakingly waiting for her knee to recover enough for her return to the hardwood. “Because it was a must-win game.
“I though it (the three-pointer) was an air ball,” she added.
After trading baskets over a short period, Eagles player Elizabeth McLinden dropped in a bucket that sparked a 10-0 run — capped by a thrilling trey by senior Kristin O’Regan with 0.10 seconds remaining — that forced overtime.
Like a warrior, O’Shaughnessy sunk to free throws and drove to the hoop for a two-point lead with 1:40 to go in extra time. But Rose, with the tilt knotted, nailed a huge basket from behind the arc for a 61-58 advantage with 1:16 left in OT.
After a St. Edmund turnover, O’Shaughnessy plunged a three-point dagger into the opposition’s heart with 48.7 seconds remaining in overtime, and that was all she wrote.
O’Shaughnessy posted a game-high 29 points, while senior Jordan Lauterborn scored a team-best 18 points for the Eagles.
Bishop Kearney hosts McClancy Friday at 6:00 p.m. in league play.
Watch video of senior Kristin O’Regan nailing three-pointer to force OT.