By Phil Stacey
---- — LYNNFIELD — Senior captain Bridget Corcoran didn’t have to look far when asked which of her Bishop Fenwick teammates made the biggest plays Saturday night.
“This one right here,” she said with a chuckle, pointing to her sophomore sister, Colleen Corcoran, whose 22 points and 11 rebounds guided the Crusaders to a resounding 59-38 win over host Lynnfield in the Division 3 North quarterfinals.
“This was one of our best games,” added Bridget Corcoran, a starting forward who opened both halves with jumpers for her team. “We’ve had a few games where we’ve come out slow but gotten better after that. Not (Saturday).”
Establishing herself on the low block and getting good positioning the entire night, Colleen Corcoran was a force inside. Seven of her nine baskets came from within eight feet of the basket; she also corralled five offensive boards, blocked three shots and had three steals. She even drew four offensive fouls by making herself big in the paint.
“I’ve been working a lot on positioning and footwork,” said the 16-year-old sophomore, one of just two North Shore players (along with Carolyn Scacchi of Peabody) averaging a double-double in points and rebounds this winter. “We wanted to work that backdoor play (Saturday) and it worked pretty well.”
In moving on to the Division 3 North semifinals, Fenwick will now get a third crack to take down top-seeded St. Mary’s of Lynn (20-2). Fenwick lost twice to the Spartans during the regular season by 30 and 10 points, respectively.
Guard Gianna Pizzano, a senior captain, also had a fine game for Fenwick with 13 points (including a trio of 3-pointers), four assists and four steals. Fellow senior captain Kate Lipka added seven points and four assists while Sydney Brennan came off the bench to score five points.
“We wanted to settled it down offensively and play with fire on defense,” said Bridget Corcoran.
Fenwick head coach Adam DeBaggis didn’t want his team playing helter-skelter, halfcourt ball at Lynnfield’s pace; he was much happier when his Crusaders slowed it down offensively and worked the ball around the perimeter, waiting for the best option. Once they did that, the Crusaders scored with more frequency and pulled away from the fourth-seeded Pioneers (16-5).
“We’ve been much better at controlling the flow (offensively) lately. That comes from maturity,” said DeBaggis. “Gianna and Kate are 3-year starters and Colleen has the maturity of a senior; she’s a growing leader and very, very smart. Bridget and Mikayla (Porcaro) are both very solid players for us; Sydney can drive to the basket and Kate loves lining up for those outside shots.
“This has to be the most improved team I’ve ever coached as far as playing at a different level from they were at the beginning of the season,” he added. “That’s why we’re looking forward to playing St. Mary’s again.”
Fenwick took its first lead with 28.5 seconds left in the first quarter after a Pizzano steal and ensuing layup gave the visitors a 12-11 lead. The Crusaders led by eight at halftime (28-20) and watched the lead swell to 14 after three quarters (44-30) before pulling away for good in the final frame.
Lynnfield got 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, from senior guard Rachel Goodwin and nine points from junior Emma Mancini. But Fenwick proved too strong overall.
Bishop Fenwick 59, Lynnfield 38
at Lynnfield High School
Bishop Fenwick: Rose 2-0-5, Porcaro 1-0-2, B. Corcoran 2-0-4, Fantozzi 0-1-1, Mancinelli 0-0-0, Pizzano 3-4-13, C. Corcoran 9-4-22, Camelo 0-0-0, Brennan 2-1-5, MacKenzie 0-0-0, Lipka 3-1-7. Totals 22-11-59.
Lynnfield: McRae 2-2-8, Goodwin 3-2-10, Mancini 4-1-9, Pasciuto 0-0-0, Weaver 0-0-0, Filipe 0-0-0, Look 0-0-0, DiCesare 1-2-5, Lawless 1-3-6. Totals 11-10-38.
Halftime: Bishop Fenwick, 28-20.
3-pointers: BF, Pizzano 3, Rose; L, McRae 2, Goodwin 2, DiCesare, Lawless.
Records: BF, 13-7; L, 16-5.