PEABODY — Beating Cardinal Spellman before their home fans was extra special for the Bishop Fenwick girls. A convincing 59-40 victory was the 10th win for the Crusaders and they qualified for the Division 2 North tournament last night.
This is the first time heading to the tourney for second year coach Adam DeBaggis, and only a couple of girls on the team were there two years ago when Fenwick made a deep postseason run.
Junior guard Kate Lipka knows what it’s like to play in the tournament when it’s win or go home. She was there as a freshman and her game-high 20 points including four treys is one of the big reasons Fenwick will be going back. Lipka was on fire in the first half, hitting the first three bombs she attempted to help her team quickly open up a huge lead.
“This will be the first time going to the tournament for me, and for most of the girls,” said DeBaggis. The Crusaders finished 9-13 a year ago and have turned this around this season. “Kate is one of the few that knows what it’s like.
“All the girls worked very hard, and I’d say we played our best basketball of the season in that first half. We were playing as a team, and the enthusiasm was high.”
Fenwick was red hot in the first half and built up a 21 point lead by halftime. After Sarah Myers gave the Cardinals their only lead of the game, 2-0 in the opening seconds, Fenwick reeled off eight in a row behind two 3-pointers by Lipka.
A 17-0 run late in the first quarter that continued into the start of the second put them ahead, 25-6. They had balanced scoring with senior Samantha Borelli also hitting double figures (10) and Rose Fantozzi, Gianna Pizzano, and Sydney Brennan chipping in with 8 apiece.