By Jerry Del Priore
Turnovers have been the big issue that has plagued Bishop Kearney all season, and it continued to punish it in its CHSAA Class A game against St. John’s Prep, a 80-70 defeat Wednesday night at home.
Tiger head coach Rocco Sellitto said his team let the tilt slip through its collective grasp, even though it played a strong team, which is in contention for the top spot in the league.
“It was a winnable game; we should have won that game,” Sellitto told BrooklynSportsWorld.com. “It was a highly winnable game, and turnovers killed us. Every time we made a run, and cut it (the lead) down, we threw the ball away.”
While losing the ball against pressure defense is one thing, Sellitto said that non-pressure mistakes are the ones that will cost him a night’s sleep.
“A lot of them (errors) are unforced turnovers. If we’re being pressed and we throw the ball away, you can live with that,” he said. “When we threw the ball and the girls were wide open, it was either a high pass or lob pass or through their legs, and it hurt us.
“In a game like this, you can’t do that,” the 15-year Bishop Kearney coach continued. “We didn’t need to play a perfect game. We needed to play a fundamentally sound game, and we didn’t do that.”
The Tigers (11-9) took a 4-0 lead, but St. John’s Prep (14-7) went on a 15-0 run with 4:31 left in the first quarter, for a 15-4 advantage.
But senior point guard Casey O’Shaughnessy rolled off ten straight points to cut the deficit to 15-14 with 1:30 to go in the first period.
However, the Red Storm outscored Bishop Kearney 9-3 to close out the quarter ahead, 24-17.
Senior Kathleen Egan sliced the lead to 38-33, but St. John’s Prep found a way to score off of Tigers’ poor execution and inability to stop players such as Yamilla Emanuel and Alexandra Tarul, both of whom helped the Red Storm end the half up by a score of 44-36.
Not to roll over and wave the proverbial white flag, however, Bishop Kearney’s Egan’s basket made it a 46-40 contest, and O’Shaughnessy brought it to a four-point game with 6:45 remaining in the period.
But a 15-6 run, capped by Emanuel’s basket, extended St. John’s Prep’s advantage to 61-46 with 2:23 to go in the third quarter.
Hoops by junior Emily Perry and two from O’Shaughnessy narrowed the gap to 64-52 going into the final period.
While the Tigers fought valiantly, with O’Shaughnessy’s good-looking reverse lay-up shrinking it to a six-point game with 2:37 to go in the affair, it wasn’t enough to surpass the Red Storm in the end.
O’Shaughnessey drained a game-best 37 points, while Egan and senior Anne Baghdadi scored 12 and 11, respectively.
Bishop Kearney returns home Friday at 6:00 p.m. with a non-league contest versus St. Joseph Hill on Senior Night.