St. Anthony’s has built a reputation as a team that thrives on intense man-to-man defense, but because of foul trouble the Friars were forced to go into a zone, one that St. John Vianney shredded.
The result was a 19-point deficit with 1:57 left in the third quarter and it was starting to look like the Friars were going to have a long ride back to South Huntington.
But St. Anthony’s went back to its bread and butter and the result was a stunning 65-62 overtime win over the Lady Lancers at the Bishop Ford Coaches vs. Cancer tournament Saturday in Park Slope.
“We knew we didn’t want to come all the way out here and lose,” junior Chastity Taylor said. “We all wanted to win really badly. We knew we weren’t playing our hardest so we knew we had to pick it up and play hard.”
St. Anthony’s (13-4), ranked No. 15 in the Tri-State by MSG Varsity, went to a full-court press that created havoc. The Friars ended the third quarter on a 9-0 run and trailed 49-39 heading into the fourth.
“We knew we didn’t play as well as we could and we knew we were still there,” St. Anthony’s coach Ken Perham said. “We just kept battling.”
Taylor, who had eight rebounds and seven steals, scored eight of her 12 points on three consecutive buckets to give the Friars a 53-52 lead with 2:14 left in the fourth. It was St. Anthony’s first lead since 18-17 in the second quarter.
However, St. John Vianney (12-7), ranked No. 10 in New Jersey by MSG Varsity, twice rallied to take a one-point lead in the final two minutes. With the Friars trailing 56-55, Johanna Impellizeri went 1-of-2 from the line with 31.8 seconds left to force overtime.
“At the end of the game we said this is it,” Perham said. “If we don’t make our stand now, we don’t have a shot.”
Davy scored inside and Rebecca Musgrove (19 points, nine rebounds, five steals) followed with back-to-back buckets to give the Friars a 62-56 lead with 2:15 left in overtime.
“I knew right away going into overtime it was going to be a one or two-point game so we knew we had to get some points on the board,” Musgrove said. “I had openings so I just took them.”
The cushion was huge in a sloppy overtime for both sides. The Lady Lancers puled within 64-62 on four consecutive free throws by Kelly Campbell, but following a steal by Taylor, Musgrove knocked down a free throw with 22.5 seconds left to seal the win.
“If we didn’t have that cushion and they hit a three, it probably would have been over for us,” said Davy, who had a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds.
The victory comes on the heels of a win over St. John the Baptist on Friday and with a showdown with St. Mary’s on the horizon.
“I think it was really big,” Taylor said. “[St. John Vianney] played Ossining to triple overtime [last weekend]. That makes us believe we can beat Ossining if we play them again.”