Sophomore Cotelia Bond-Young is in her first season playing for the No. 6 Elizabeth Seton girls basketball team. Yet there was no question that she was the player the Roadrunners wanted to have the ball in the closing minutes of yesterday's 55-53 victory over host No. 7 St. John's.
In the fourth quarter, Bond-Young scored 11 of her 21 points and made 7 of 9 free throws--including 3 of 4 in the final 15 seconds--to help complete a second-half comeback for Elizabeth Seton. Senior forward Katrina Martin also scored 21 points for the Roadrunners, who were playing their first game in nine days.
"Cotelia is a veteran player, even though she is just a sophomore," Elizabeth Seton Coach Richard Brown said of the 5-foot-6 guard, a transfer from Douglass. "She's been playing basketball year-round, and she's been in a lot of those situations before. We gave her the ball because we have a lot of confidence in her."
Yesterday's game was a rematch of last season's Washington Catholic Athletic Conference final, which St. John's won, 57-44. The teams have been the best in the WCAC again this season; Elizabeth Seton is 12-2 overall (4-0 WCAC) and has a five-game winning streak, while St. John's is 13-2, 4-1.
St. John's led 24-19 at halftime yesterday, but the Cadets were disappointed their lead wasn't larger. St. John's made only 6 of 20 free throws in the first half, and finished 14 of 32 (44 percent).
"We had all the opportunities in the world in the first half," St. John's Coach Patti Langworthy said. "We shot our free throws poorly, and in practice we usually make 85 to 95 percent of our free throws."
Elizabeth Seton trailed, 33-32, heading into the fourth quarter, but the Roadrunners made several key plays when they needed them. Senior Jennie Brown made back-to-back steals that led to five points and turned a two-point deficit into a 42-39 lead with 6 minutes 35 seconds left.
Bond-Young scored eight of the Roadrunners' final nine points, and said she wasn't nervous standing at the free throw line in the final minutes.
"I'm a good free throw shooter," Bond-Young said. "But there was no pressure on me. I knew that our team had enough to win the game. We had three hours of practice on Saturday to get ready. Everybody knew that this would be a tough game, and we knew that we had to get everyone involved."
Note: St. John's sophomore Nicole Jules, a 6-2 starting forward, was helped off the court with a sprained right ankle with 7:10 left to play. She did not return and was on crutches following the game. Langworthy said she would not know Jules's status until the ankle was X-rayed.