(Hathorne MA) Bishop Fenwick (20-4) had all the right answers as they eliminated St. Mary’s, 56-40, on Tuesday night at Essex Tech in the D3 North semi-finals.
The Crusaders had a glittering first period putting up seventeen points while the Spartans could manage only two points.
St. Mary’s (19-5) would get within ten (21-11) 3 ½ minutes into the second quarter but BF answered with eight straight points (layups by Ellen Fantozzi and Jaxson Nadeau, drive and jump shot by Fredi DeGuglielmo) before the quarter ended.
On a night when the Spartans struggled from long range (two 3’s) the Crusaders nailed seven. Senior Sydney Brennan (17 points) clicked four times from deep including two in the second quarter. Sophomore Fredi DeGuglielmo (14 points) notched two 3-pointers.
St. Mary’s 2-point first quarter surely brought back memories of the two team’s previous get-together on February 12th. In that 45-27 loss the Spartans were held scoreless in the first half.
The Crusaders full-court pressure paid dividends garnering turnovers (eight in the first quarter) and forcing St. Mary’s to play much faster than they wanted to. The Spartans rushed their way into a bunch of high-percentage shot misses.
Key player in the game in my opinion was Colleen Corcoran. She got BF off to a good start with the game’s first two baskets. She ended up with nine points and eleven rebounds. To me her greatest value was being the outlet in the backcourt. St. Mary’s applied plenty of pressure too but when BF’s primary ball-handlers were in trouble Colleen was there to get the ball up the court for them.
St. Mary’s had five turnovers in the first two minutes. Most of the miscues were from bad passes.
BF went out 6-0 on two scores by Colleen and a runner by Sydney Brennan.
Senior Kayla Carter broke the ice for STM converting a rebound 4 ½ minutes into the quarter. It would be five minutes of game time before the team from Lynn would get more points.
And while the Spartans struggled to score, the team from Peabody struck three times from deep (Sam Mancinelli, Sydney Brennan, and Fred DeGuglielmo) before the first quarter was over.
Down by fifteen after one period, the Spartans moved to within ten after a layup by Kayla Carter and a three from Mia Nowicki. But the Crusader then ran eight unanswered and BF led by eighteen (29-11). Marnelle Garraud drained a three in the final minute but BF still led 29-14 at the half.
You might imagine that in the second half St. Mary’s would start making some shots, especially long-range, and that Bishop Fenwick would cool off. Didn’t happen.
Sydney Brennan doused any comeback plans by St. Mary’s with three 3’s in the first four minutes of the second half to usher BF into a 40-20 spread.
The Crusaders collected only one point in the final 4+ minutes of this game but the Spartans on this night couldn’t put any long-range accuracy together to get close.
Sophomore Olivia Nazaire (15 points) collected thirteen of her points in the second half.
What a season so far for Bishop Fenwick! They won their first Catholic Central League title since 1997. They also ended eight years of losing to St. Mary’s and have now defeated the Spartans all three times they met this season.
Bishop Fenwick moves on to the D3 North title game on Saturday. They will face the winner of the Latin Academy/North Reading game. The Crusaders lost in the D3 North title game last year to Winthrop.
To call Bishop Fenwick’s defense “swarming” may have been an understatement. There were very, very few open looks for St. Mary’s from anywhere.
BF had some breakaways from the Crusaders’ twenty turnovers.
Colleen Corcoran has committed to play basketball for the LeMoyne Dolphins (Syracuse NY) next year. LeMoyne is in the Northeast-10 Conference. Merrimack and Southern New Hampshire are also in that conference.
First time at Essex Tech for me. Impressive. The seating was steep but it gave everyone a good view of the game.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)