Elizabeth Seton’s Camden Musgrave was on her back, looking up as the ball clanked off the iron after she missed a layup in the final seconds of Thursday night’s game against Paul VI. She had taken contact on the attempt, but the miss — following a breakaway steal with her team trailing by one — appeared to be the final act in an otherwise outstanding game for the senior.
Out of nowhere came Musgrave’s understudy, freshman point guard Tatyana Carver, who, like in so many other settings, had followed her mentor’s footsteps. Carver grabbed the rebound over Musgrave and made a go-ahead layup that delivered a stunning 58-57 win for No. 6 Seton over No. 2 Paul VI Catholic in a WCAC showdown in Fairfax.
“I just followed the shot, and it just went in. I look up to [Musgrave] a lot,” Carver said. “We knew we could do it, and we did it.”
Musgrave finished with 19 points for the Roadrunners (14-3, 8-1 WCAC), who were nearly run out of the gym by the Panthers in the first 20 minutes. Playing its 11th consecutive game without star guard Ariana Freeman hardly mattered early on for Paul VI (13-4, 8-1), which established dominance in the post with 6-foot-4 center Jonquanae Cole (17 points) and led 33-24 at halftime. That lead would grow to 43-31 in the middle of the third quarter, which prompted a timeout from Seton Coach Jonathan Scruggs, whose message to his team was not sugarcoated.
The Roadrunners responded to scorn with a 14-0 run to close out the third quarter, aided by a Musgrave three-pointer and two strong layups in the final minute of the quarter by Savannah Johnson (nine points).
“We’ve been there before,” said Musgrave, who hit three three-pointers. “It just happened.”
Paul VI retook the lead behind two three-pointers by Raven James in the fourth quarter, the second of which came with a minute remaining to give the Panthers a 55-54 advantage, and Cole’s cutting layup a moment later made it 57-56. Paul VI retained possession and were trying to milk the clock in the final seconds, but Musgrave intercepted a pass with 10 seconds left that set up Carver’s game-winner, and Paul VI’s three-point attempt at the buzzer fell short.
Musgrave emerged from the locker room after the game carrying the team’s mascot, Chippy, a red roadrunner stuffed animal. It signifies the “chip on our shoulder” mantra the team plays with, she said, which lasted until the finals seconds ran off Thursday. She called it the biggest win of her career, a victory that wouldn’t have been possible without the instinct of Carver.
“I was on the floor looking up. I saw Tatyana right behind me,” Musgrave said. “I just got excited, because I knew she was going to do it. We practice that all the time, following. And she did it.”