(Boston MA) Bishop Feehan gets to the D1 state title game after defeating Woburn, 70-57, on Monday night at the TD Garden.
Katie Nelson (31 points) and Lauren Manis (21 points) carried the Shamrocks not only by scoring plenty of points but they also assisted on baskets, rebounded, and blocked shots.
Teams that get places in the MIAA tournament have to have go-to players. The Shamrocks (23-1) are blessed to have two such players.
Katie, only a junior, is a verbal commit to BU while senior Lauren will go to Holy Cross.
The Tanners (22-3) went down by fourteen (22-8) early in the second quarter. The BF lead was fifteen (32-17) in the last minute of the second quarter.
You suspected that Woburn might be heading for the wrong end of a lopsided score in the second half. You would be wrong!
The Tanners put seven straight points together (rebound baskets by Kelsey Qualey and Mya Blazejowski, plus a 3 by Kelsey) and pulled to within four (43-39) with seven minutes of game left.
You suspected that Woburn might have enough to catch and pass the South champs. You would be wrong….again!
If Katie Nelson and Lauren Manis were tough to stop for three quarters, you should have seen them in the final quarter.
And if you were at the Garden, you would add, you should have seen Woburn’s Marissa Gattuso in the same quarter.
Marissa (21 points) began to find openings to get off floaters and runners and had a 13-point quarter. Good thing Marissa got hot for Woburn because Katie Nelson scored twelve and Lauren Manis added eleven for Bishop Feehan.
As I said, Woburn was within four points with 7 minutes to go.
The next four minutes of game-time did in the Middlesex League champions. The Shamrocks put a 13-5 segment together and back down went the Tanners by twelve (56-44) and they did not recover.
Where did Bishop Feehan’s thirteen points comes from? Katie Nelson hit a long-distance three and then added an old-fashioned three. Then came Lauren Manis to add an old-fashioned three, a jump shot, and two free throws.
Sometimes fouling a team late in the game works but not this time for Woburn. Katie was 7-for-7 and Lauren was 5-for-5.
It was truly a remarkable display by the BF stars. You would like to think that Bishop Feehan’s opponent for the state title on Saturday, either Natick or Chicopee Comp, could be in for a long game. But, you never know.
Woburn had a brief 4-2 lead after a drive by junior Mya Blazejowski (14 points).
The team from Attleboro took the lead for good with eight unanswered points. Two jumps shots by Katie Nelson and layups by Lauren Manis and Emily Miccile provided the points.
In the last ten seconds of the first quarter BF got a layup (Katie Nelson) after a pass from Nicole Gallagher and a three by Nicole Gallagher from Lauren Manis. The Shamrocks led, 17-8 after a quarter.
The Eastern Athletic League champs put another five-pack together to start the second quarter. The damage was done by Marissa Fontaine (3-pointer) and a rebound basket from Lauren Manis. This action put the BF advantage to 22-8.
How did Woburn get back to within in four? They got long-range hot. Mya Blazejowski started the third quarter with one and later would add two more. Kelsey Qualey drained her own 3-pointer to end the quarter with a 43-37 score.
Kelsey’s opening rebound basket, starting the final quarter, lessened Woburn’s deficit to four but that was as close as they would get on this evening.
Both teams took good care of the ball. Woburn ended up with eleven turnovers while Bishop Feehan had ten.
Lauren Manis (6’2”) had the size to block shots without fouling.
Katie Nelson (5’9”) made all the shots: 3’s, jumpers, layups, and free throws. She also reached 1000 points in this her junior year. Katie did not force her way to tonight’s thirty-one points. The total tied a career high in points for her.
This was my second look at Woburn’s junior point guard Marissa Galluso. She reminds me so much of Pentucket’s Kelsi McNamara. Lack of size does not prevent her from getting to the basket and from making shots in traffic.
It was interesting to watch BF defensively covering Marissa. When a Woburn screen was set, to give Marissa some clearance, the Shamrocks ignored the screen setter entirely and tried to keep Marissa from going either direction.
Always fun to cover a game in the Garden. You can’t beat the Garden lighting as well as the crowd reactions to game situations.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)