St. John’s girls’ basketball rallies past Paul VI Catholic in WCAC showdown
By Preston Williams,
Monday night, she stole an inbounds pass and drove for the winning layup with 20 seconds left in overtime in the No. 3 Cadets’ 70-69 comeback triumph at previously unbeaten and top-ranked Paul VI Catholic.
Down 10 points with 3 minutes 24 seconds left in the third period, St. John’s tied the score by the end of the quarter and emerged victorious for the 13th consecutive time in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference series after a crackling overtime session that included four lead changes.
It was almost five. Paul VI freshman Jasmine Whitney’s contested shot on a drive to the basket bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Allen’s game-altering steal came with the Panthers inbounding from beneath the St. John’s basket to the vicinity of the top of the key.
“I went there at the flight of the ball, and I just happened to get it, tap it and get out and get a wide-open layup,” said Allen, a Notre Dame recruit. “I almost dropped the ball, but luckily I got it back.”
“I can’t believe there’s only a couple of weeks left with her, but she sure seems to shine when the spotlight is brightest,” St. John’s Coach Jonathan Scribner said. “I was really, really proud of the defensive possessions in the last minute-and-a-half. That steal starts with the ball pressure. It created a little bit of a panic, which allowed Lindsay to step in and make the play.”
Toward the end of regulation, tied at 62, Paul VI senior guard Marlena Tremba had a three-point attempt roll out with 15 seconds left and Allen missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
In overtime, Paul VI (23-1, 13-1) went up one on a Whitney free throw. Sophomore Amari Carter hit a jumper to put St. John’s (21-1, 11-1) up one. Junior Lindsey Oblitey drove for a basket to give Paul VI the lead again. St. John’s senior Tori Oliver (23 points, 12 rebounds) answered at the other end.
Whitney scored on a three-point play with 1 minute 58 seconds left for a 68-66 lead for the Panthers.
Oliver then hit two foul shots with 1:31 to go to tie the game. Whitney made a free throw with 1:17 left. About a minute later, Allen made the play to cap a 27-point night.
“Just a great play by a great player,” said Paul VI Coach Scott Allen. “Not one play defined that game. It was just great players making great plays. Just a heavyweight fight.”
Whitney scored a season-high 19 points. Paul VI junior forward Ariana Freeman added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Tremba scored 13.
“We kind of almost forgot how to lose,” Tremba said. “We have to be ready to bounce back. We were trying to make history tonight.”
The teams play again on Feb. 15.