The Bishop Ireton girls’ basketball team snapped its 70-game losing streak against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference competition by pulling out a 59-50 home win Monday afternoon over O’Connell, the last team the Cardinals had beaten, on Feb. 3, 2008.

Juniors Camille Weber and Mara Celis scored 13 points apiece and freshman Danielle Hatchett nailed a three-pointer at the first-half buzzer to tie the score and enable second-year Coach Derek Campbell to declare it a new game at halftime.

The Cardinals (5-13, 1-7), up by as many as 15 points in the second half, have at least temporarily escaped the WCAC cellar for the first time in years because O’Connell (8-12, 0-10) is still looking for its first league win.

“It was a great sensation,” said senior forward Bianca Ojiegbe, who in the fourth quarter blocked consecutive shots to help protect the lead. “I cried. I’ve never seen everybody so happy. This is the start to a new beginning.”

“Oh, my goodness, I’ve never run off the bench and gone crazy before like that,” senior guard Jasmine Conkright said. “It was amazing. It was the best win. We finally believed in ourselves that we could do it.”

Campbell, for one, was not particularly surprised by the intensity of the celebration.

“That’s three years of desperation,” he said. “The first win is a tough one. Now it shouldn’t be an aberration.”

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