For Georgetown Visitation senior Kate Gillespie, Sunday was an eventful day. During halftime of the Independent School League AA tournament championship game, fans serenaded her because it was her 18th birthday.
And after Gillespie scored a game-high 25 points to lead No. 16 Georgetown Visitation to a 60-46 win over Flint Hill at Sidwell Friends, her teammates sang to her in the locker room. But there was also crying (it was their last game together) and smiles (the Cubs won their fifth tournament title in the past six seasons).
“It’s kind of a full-circle kind of thing,” she said. “Last high school game on your birthday.”
Against Flint Hill, Gillespie, a 5-foot-9 guard and Holy Cross signee, showed she is a standout all-around player. Along with her points, she added eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. She is also her school’s all-time leading scorer.
“That’s Kate,” Georgetown Visitation Coach Mike McCarthy said. “She just fills up the stat sheet every night.”
Led by senior guard Alex Long (16 points), Flint Hill (19-10) held a 17-11 first quarter lead. But in the second quarter, the Cubs took the lead. Long tied the game at 36 with 2 minutes 4 seconds left in the third but Georgetown Visitation (25-4) played tough defense to seize control again.
Leading by only five points to start the fourth quarter, Gillespie attacked the basket and drew fouls. She scored 13 of her team’s 19 points in the frame, including 11 straight points, helped avenge last year’s loss. The Cubs, who claimed the league title (based on the regular season) for the sixth straight season, fell to Flint Hill in the tournament final last winter.
“I think we just dug deep and for six of us [seniors] it was our last game of basketball and we just wanted to go out on top and didn’t want to come out with a loss,” Gillespie said.
Trailing 31-30 to start the fourth quarter, the Eagles (17-5), who started three freshmen, rallied. Freshman guard Marta Sniezek scored 10 of her game-high 21 points in the final frame to lead her team to victory.
“It was great,” Sniezek said. “It’s everything I could have hoped for. It was a team effort. I feel like I didn’t play so well in the beginning but my teammates were there for me, my coach was there for me.”
Senior forward Catherine Doulis led St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (20-5) with 14 points. For winning the regular season crown, the Saints move up to the ISL AA next season.