By Dylan Butler
Casey Shevlin wasn’t thinking about the other 31 minutes and 28 seconds when she and her Mary Louis teammates — including seven girls who were in their first season of varsity basketball — courageously battled a stronger, more athletic Bishop Loughlin team.
Instead, it was a 32 seconds span late in the fourth quarter that had the freshman guard in tears after a 70-57 loss to Loughlin in the Brooklyn/Queens quarterfinals Tuesday night at Christ the King.
The Hilltoppers turned the ball over three times in 20 seconds as the Lions went on an 13-0 run to steal the game away from Mary Louis. In what seemed like a matter of seconds, Mary Louis’ 55-52 lead turned into a 65-55 deficit.
“We just got a few quick turnovers,” Shevlin said. “We played our hearts out all game and it just came down to like 40 seconds where we just lost it.”
In addition to advancing to the B/Q semifinals, where it will take on second-seeded Molloy Thursday at Bishop Ford, No. 3 Bishop Loughlin (18-6) will be the Class B representative from the Diocesan in the state CHSAA tournament.
“Loughlin is always considered an underdog team,” said Loughlin junior Sharda King, who scored a game-high 22 points, including 17 in the second half. “We just want to show everybody that we want to be one of those teams to be feared.”
Meanwhile, the season comes to a crushing end for a young Mary Louis team that came painfully close to beating St. Michael’s, St. Francis Prep and Bishop Loughlin this season.
“I really think that there’s an empty taste in many of these girls’ mouth. They were downstairs crying, they were heartbroken that this happened,” said Mary Louis coach Joe Lewinger. “They said that for so long that they believed they were going to win this game.”
Nine days after being manhandled in a 62-47 loss to Loughlin, sixth-seeded Mary Louis (13-12) played inspired, gutsy basketball from the opening tip Tuesday night.
Led by Shevlin, who scored a team-high 17 points, and fellow freshman guard Patricia Zillas (12 points), the Hilltoppers led 11-7 at the end of the first quarter and went on an 10-3 run to close out the second quarter and take an 11-point lead into the third quarter.
Loughlin rallied to tie the game at 44 late in the third quarter, but Zillas buried a three-pointer with 26 seconds left to give Mary Louis a 47-44 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Following a three-point play by junior forward Liz Flynn (11points, eight rebounds) Mary Louis led 55-52 with 5:01 left in the fourth quarter.
But that’s when it all went wrong for the Hilltoppers, which had starters Shevlin, Liza Gallo and Julie Serewko all mired in foul trouble and Flynn nursing a left knee injury she suffered early in the third quarter.
After baskets by Akeeta Barrett (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Janele Henderson (14 points, nine rebounds), Bishop Loughlin adjusted its full court press, moving King to the top and the result was back-to-back layups by King and Jeanette Toney in a nine-second span gave the Lions a 60-55 lead forcing Lewinger to call a timeout.
“I don't know what happened in those (20 seconds) when we had three straight turnovers and that’s what we were upset about the most,” Lewinger said. “It was a lack of communication and a breakdown in concentration.”
St. Francis Prep 66, Bishop Kearney 40. Gina Catherall had 20 points and Susan Divald added 14 for No. 4 St. Francis Prep (13-12), which raced out to a 16-5 lead and will face top-seeded Christ the King Thursday at Bishop Ford.
Maryann Welsh led Bishop Kearney (8-18) with 21 points.
Archbishop Molloy 81, Bishop Ford 42. Jessica McEntee had 14 points, Rosalyn Gold-Onwude had 12 points, EJ Dreyer had 11 points and Jennifer Kelleher added 10 for No. 2 Molloy (19-5), which led 27-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Rashida Mark led No. 7 Bishop Ford (10-15) with 12 points and Damaris Walton and Christy Jean-Jacques had 11 points apiece.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.