By Jerry Del Priore
Bishop Kearney (10-8) has been eagerly waiting for that basketball game in which senior Kathleen Egan has that impact, breakout tilt.
Considered it done, as a hell-bent Egan drained a team-high 21 points in the Tigers’ 57-47 victory over CHSAA Class A opponents St. Joe (11-9) Wednesday night at home.
It was vindication for a 53-41 defeat suffered at the hands of the same team last month at St Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.
“I’ve been waiting for this game for a while,” Egan said of her scoring output. “We had a different mentality as a team, and everything just clicked together, finally.”
As for a statement victory, Egan said: “I think, finally, we wanted to show all the elite teams that we’re hear and ready.”
Egan was a force in the first quarter, drilling a three-pointer to start the game’s scoring. She added four more points to Bishop Kearney’s ledger, though it trailed St. Joe by a point, 12-11, at the end of the period.
The Cougars hit a trey early in the second quarter, but the Tigers scored the next five points to take a 16-15 advantage with 4:10 to go in the first half.
St. Joe retook the lead momentarily, but Eagan drilled a trey to tie the contest at 19 all. And then she rocked another from behind the arc that gave Bishop Kearney a 22-21 lead going into the break.
The third period began with senior Anne Baghdadi scoring four points, igniting a 9-0 run, capped by a Casey O’Shaughnessy basket, for a 33-24 Tiger advantage with 5:33 to go in the quarter.
But the Cougars would claw back, going on a 13-6 run of their own to narrow the gap at 39-37, in favor of Bishop Kearney.
Not to let this contest fall by the wayside, something that head coach Rocco Sellitto said has happened this season, the Tigers came out roaring, pouring in the first seven points of the period, highlighted by a another Egan three-pointer, which swelled their lead to nine points (46-37).
Sellitto said the keys to the win for Bishop Kearney was displaying more composure, which led to a reduction in turnovers.
“I think the difference in today’s game is we kept our heads throughout the whole game,” Sellitto said. “When they made runs at us, we stood clam. I’m sure our turnover level this game was less than it has been. And that’s what we’re trying to do, is value the ball more, especially not turning over the ball late in the game, when it gets hectic.”
With St. Joe inching a bit nearing, junior Bridget Rose, one of the team’s unsung heroes, nailed a trey, bringing the advantage back to nine points (49-40) with 3:30 ticks left in tilt.
Both squads traded hoops the rest of the way, with sure-fire free-throw shooter O’Shaughnessy icing the contest with six successful shots in the waning minute of the game.
O’Shaughnessy, a senior, scored 20 points, while Baghdadi contributed eight.
The Tigers travel to St. Edmund for a Friday league affair at 6:00 p.m.
Watch Kathleen Egan drill one of four three-pointers in video below.