“Brianna was a little banged up. She did get hurt (last) Friday, but we’ve been treating it right and her practice was limited so that she was 100 percent (last night).”
The Crusaders had several open looks and took a ton of shots throughout the game, but the shots simply weren’t falling. On numerous occasions senior point guard Gianna Pizzano (team-high 13 points) would take it to the basket herself to trigger some momentum on offense.
Sophomore Colleen Corcoran, who on any given night is probably the Crusaders’ top offensive player, struggled to get anything going in the paint, mostly due to St. Mary’s smothering defense on the 5-foot-10 center.
“She wasn’t getting the looks she normally does,” DeBaggis explained. “Our guards weren’t able to get the ball into her. I felt like we weren’t looking to her enough, either; that was part of the problem. St. Mary’s shuts down any sort of team offense and you end up having to run man-to-man.”
By the end of the third St. Mary’s had a 19-point lead, with help from sophomore forward Gianna Moschella of Peabody. The Spartans pushed their lead to 26 points (51-25) to start the fourth as Rudolph hit back-to-back buckets and a conventional three-point play.
Lipka finished with 12 points, including two three-pointers, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Junior Lexie Rose added four points while Pizzano finished with five rebounds to go along with her 13 points. Corcoran pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
“I’ve been saying all year that this is one of the most improved teams I’ve coach,” added DeBaggis. “I’m proud of them for that because there were a lot of questions marks heading into the season.”
St. Mary’s 68, Bishop Fenwick 35
Division 3 North semifinal
Bishop Fenwick: Rose 1-2-4, Porcaro 1-0-2, B Corcoran 0-1-1, Mancinelli 1-0-2, Pizzano 5-3-13, C Corcoran 0-1-1, Brennan 0-0-0, Lipka 4-2-12. Totals 12-9-35.
St. Mary’s: Sanders 3-3-9, Rudolph 16-4-36, Moschella 1-3-5, Carter 0-3-3, Mucciarone 1-8-10, Falayi 0-3-3, Idysuyi 1-0-2. Totals 22-24-68.
Halftime: SM, 28-16.
3-pointers: BF, Lipka 2; SM, none.
Records: SM, 21-2; BF, 13-8.