Owning possession and down one with 20 seconds left, it was understood among the St. John's girls' basketball players that the ball - and the game - should be in the hands of sophomore guard Lindsay Allen.
With a standing-room-only crowd rising to its feet, teammates cleared out for Allen, who dribbled toward the basket and pulled up to arc a 14-foot defended shot that swished through the net, capping her team's rally from 10 points down in the fourth quarter in the No. 1 Cadets' 71-70 win at No. 3 Good Counsel, a meeting of unbeaten Washington Catholic Athletic Conference teams.
When senior Lindsay Williams pulled down a rebound with 20 seconds left, the stage was set for Allen, who relished having the game, first place in the conference and the team's No. 5 ranking in USA Today in her hands.
"It's just the best feeling in the world that your team can depend on you like that," said Allen, who scored a season-high 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting on a night when she, junior guard Mooriah Rowser (19 points) and sophomore forward Tori Oliver (12 points) combined for 60 of their team's 71 points.
"She's a playmaker, and she made a play," said Rowser, who had a team-high 10 rebounds. "We definitely don't mind putting the ball in her hands. She's able to take the ball at these types of moments and put it in the basket for us."
St. John's Coach Jonathan Scribner considered calling a timeout but decided to let Allen try to make something happen.
"What are you going to do, draw up some special play and have five people execute something and try to get a shot?" Scribner said. "When you've got a player like that we'll take our chances. She had one this summer at the Best of Maryland tournament, same exact situation. To me, it's a bona fide play. Run four low. See if they can stop you."
Good Counsel led 62-52 with six minutes left before a banked three-pointer by junior Kazzidy Stewart spurred a 19-8 game-closing run for the Cadets (16-0, 8-0).
Allen tied the score at 67 with a three-pointer with 2:42 remaining. Good Counsel inched ahead on a free throw by senior Kim Tullis with 1:49 left. Oliver banked in a shot in the paint to give St. John's a 69-68 lead with 1:39 left.
With 56 seconds to go, Good Counsel sophomore Amanda Fioravanti hit two foul shots for a 70-69 lead; she had missed four of her previous five free throws.
Good Counsel (16-1, 7-1) has won 10 of the last 15 in the series, but St. John's has won three of the past four.
St. John's sank 21 of 27 foul shots, including 11 of 12 in the first half, after which it trailed 39-30. Good Counsel was 12 for 23 from the line.
|ST. JOHN'S||GOOD COUNSEL|