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Katie Nelson (31) and Lauren Manis (21) carry Bishop Feehan to D1 title game with 70-57 win over Woburn

Lauren Manis (21 points)

Lauren Manis (21 points)

Katie Nelson (31 points)

Katie Nelson (31 points)

(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.

Nicole Pacheco tries to block Lauren Manis

Nicole Pacheco tries to block Lauren Manis

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!

Mya Blazejowski (14 points) made three 3's in the third quarter

Mya Blazejowski (14 points) made three 3’s in the third quarter

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 Gattuso (21 points including thirteen in the 4th quarter.

Marissa Gattuso (21 points including thirteen in the 4th 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.

Nicole Gallagher guarded by Marina Rufo

Nicole Gallagher guarded by Marina Rufo

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.

Nicole Pacheco tries to slow down Katie Nelson

Nicole Pacheco tries to slow down Katie Nelson

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.

Kelsey Qualey and Lauren Manis

Kelsey Qualey and Lauren Manis

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.

Woburn box

Bishop Feehan box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Two talented juniors (Marissa Gattuso and Katie Nelson)

Two talented juniors (Marissa Gattuso and Katie Nelson)

Cassie Palmisano

Cassie Palmisano

Woburn waits for the player introductions

Woburn waits for the player introductions

Emma Forbes

Emma Forbes

Lauren Manis blocks Kelsey Qualey's shot

Lauren Manis blocks Kelsey Qualey’s shot

Katie Nelson jump shot

Katie Nelson jump shot

Elle Brennan defends Lauren Manis

Elle Brennan defends Lauren Manis

Mya Blazejowski

Mya Blazejowski

End of Woburn season

End of Woburn season

Marissa Gattuso faces two defenders

Marissa Gattuso faces two defenders

Lauren Manis block

Lauren Manis block

 

 

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Marissa Gattuso (28 points) takes Woburn to D1 North title 58-46 over Revere

Woburn (2016 Division 1 North champions)

Woburn (2016 Division 1 North champions)

Marissa Gattuso (28 points) was the difference maker for Woburn

Marissa Gattuso (28 points) was the difference maker for Woburn

(Haverhill MA) Dazzling show by junior Marissa Gattuso.

The Woburn junior dominated Revere and led the Tanners to a 58-46 win and the Division 1 North title on Saturday afternoon at Whittier.

Woburn now gets Bishop Feehan in the D1 state semifinals at the TD Garden on Monday at 5:45PM. The Shamrocks (22-1) were the #2 seed in the South.

Marissa (two-time Middlesex League All-Star) displayed the full package of shooting range collecting 28 points. To get to that lofty total she drove for layups, hit jump shots, hit a three, made thirteen free throws, as well as three floaters. There didn’t seem to be a shooting spot she didn’t hurt the Tanners from!

Marissa Gattuso about to be fouled by Ally Hinojosa

Marissa Gattuso about to be fouled by Ally Hinojosa

Those floaters were the ones that impressed me. No heights were given for #2 seed Woburn in the program but I’m guessing that Marissa is 5’6”. Revere had 6’2”, 6’1” size in close and getting a shot blocked was a real possibility. But the floater is the answer. You shoot the ball on the run over the bigger defender without charging. Isaiah Thomas does it all the time for the Celtics.

Marissa not only had the full selection of shots she also controlled the ball as point guard. Revere put a number of different defenders on her. I thought senior Maritza Scott was the best at it but Maritza fouled out with four minutes left. The Tanners had only one turnover in the final quarter because, led by Marissa, they took good care of the ball. Revere was forced to foul and Woburn gathered fourteen points from the charity stripe in the final quarter.

Revere (20-6), from the Northeastern Conference, was tied with Woburn twice in the early going. Maritza Scott and Pamela Gonzalez had consecutive layins to knot the score at 6-6 with 2 ½ minutes left in the first quarter.

The next 3 ½ minutes of playing time were all Woburn. The Tanners (22-2) ran ten unanswered points together to gain separation, 16-6.

Mya Blazejowski zips to the hoop

Mya Blazejowski zips to the hoop

Woburn had six three’s in the game and got two of them (Andrea Schiavone, Nicole Pacheco) in the breakaway segment. There were two Marissa Gattuso floaters in the same mix.

#4 seed Revere was never able to get closer than three points (24-21) the rest of the way.

Credit the undersized interior defense of Woburn. It was clear that Revere wanted to dominate the glass on both ends of the court. That just didn’t happen. There were few second attempts and there were few entries passes where one-on-one defense was in place.

Crowd under the basket

Crowd under the basket

Sophomore Valentina Pepic (10 points) did find some layup room late in the game but by then Woburn was trying not to foul.

Woburn did a terrific job of containing Revere point guard Pamela Gonzalez (12 points). Pamela always had defenders to deal with in her attempts to get to the basket. Pamela had twenty-seven points in the Patriots’ win earlier in the tournament so holding her to twelve was a key to the D1 title win.

Ally Hinojosa starts the 3rd quarter with a three

Ally Hinojosa starts the 3rd quarter with a three

As I mentioned earlier, the Patriots did get within three points. That happened at the start of the third quarter after senior Ally Hinojosa drained a three-pointer from the left.

The lead enlarged to six (35-29) with two minutes left in the third quarter.

The next six minutes of playing time did in Revere. They tallied just one point (Ally Hinojosa free throw) while the Tanners garnered eight points from two layups (Nicole Pacheco, Kelsey Qualey), a jump shot (Marissa Gattuso), and free throws by Marina Rufo and Mya Blazejowski.

Now the teams were separated by thirteen points (43-30) with four minutes left in the game. Twelve made free throws later the Tanners had a 58-46 victory and the D1 North title.

Good crowd on hand. The Woburn student section had some bright colors on.

The foul shooting could have been better for both teams: Woburn (20-for-34), Revere (10-for-21). Too many high school players are spending too much time practicing 3-pointers. Revere was 2-for-8 from the foul line in a quarter (3rd) when they got within three points of the lead!

Revere's Adanna Hector

Revere’s Adanna Hector

Getting the D1 North title probably erases Woburn’s painful memory from last year’s tournament when their #1 seeding didn’t do a bit of good as they went out to #16 Arlington.

When I saw that Revere had lost to St. Mary’s (Lynn) twice I feared they could be in trouble vs Woburn. The time I saw the Spartans (they lost to Bishop Fenwick) they had size and persistent pressure. So I figured that if that had bothered Revere (twice) then Woburn might cause problems. This was before I had ever seen Marissa Gattuso in action.

Woburn boxscore

Revere boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Pamela Gonzalez (12 points) in the middle of the Woburn defense. (Note the arm grab.)

Pamela Gonzalez (12 points) in the middle of the Woburn defense. (Note the arm grab.)

Revere (Division 1 North finalist)

Revere (Division 1 North finalist)

Mya Blazejowski and Coach Steve Sullivan

Mya Blazejowski and Coach Steve Sullivan

Marina Rugo pressured by Meaghan Gotham

Marina Rugo pressured by Meaghan Gotham

Marissa Gattuso and Kelsey Qualey

Marissa Gattuso and Kelsey Qualey

Point guard Marissa Gattuso

Point guard Marissa Gattuso

Little room for Meaghan Gotham

Little room for Meaghan Gotham

Maritza Scott (10 points) finds an opening

Maritza Scott (10 points) finds an opening

Junior Marissa Gattuso

Junior Marissa Gattuso

Marissa Gattuso goes down after a foul in the last minute

Marissa Gattuso goes down after a foul in the last minute

 

 

 

 

 

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