Late 3-pointer knocks off Father Gabriel Richard girls basketball team in regional final
EATON RAPIDS -- By the end of the Father Gabriel Richard High School girl's basketball team's Class B regional final with Marshall, the girls were bruised and battered. The Fighting Irish’s press defense led to a number of kick balls, hand-smacks and scrums for loose balls with players falling all over it throughout the game.
And with the Richard for its tournament life, the ball finally had enough. With Gabriel Richard up 31-29 with under two minutes left, Marshall’s Lauren Mengel launched 3-pointer. The ball hit the back rim and immediately died, falling through the net to give the Redhawks a one-point lead.
With a turnover and a couple of missed shots, the Fighting Irish wouldn't score again in the 34-31 loss.
“We let the game come down to the last couple plays,” Gabriel Richard coach Matt Carroll said. “Weird stuff like that happens all the time. Banked threes, turnovers, all kinds of things, missed free throws, anything can happen. We just constantly stressed with the girls, ‘Don’t let it come down to the last couple minutes.’ ”
Mary Yocum’s nine points in the second quarter gave Gabriel Richard a 20-16 halftime lead despite not having star forward Angela Broggi, who sat for much of the quarter with two fouls.
‘I think that’s the difference in the game, us having to sit her for most of the second quarter,” Vinson said.When Broggi came back in, she scored all seven of her team’s points in the third as the Fighting Irish jumped out to a seven-point lead. During a timeout Caroll told the girls this was their chance to put the game away.
Marshall contained Broggi with double and triple-teams and broke the press, while the rest of the Fighting Irish (17-8) went cold. The Redhawks (19-5) offense picked up as Gabriel Richard’s fell off. A 7-2 run in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter tied.
“I was just waiting for the girls to play basketball,” Marshall coach Sal Konkle said. “We played scared the whole time — the whole time. We’ve had glimpses of that all season, or we would be undefeated if we didn’t, but they’re capable of doing those things.”
Broggi led all scorers with 18 points and scored all of her team's points in every quarter but the second. Marshall used a more balanced attack, with Laura Mengel, Katie Slaght and Sarah Huffman scoring 12, 10 and 8 points respectively.
Gabriel Richard had a number of chances to retake the lead in the final minute. The ball came alive again as a missed layup bounced out. A turnover coming out of a timeout led to two free throws for the Redhawks, but the Fighting Irish still had nine seconds left. A missed 3-pointer on an open look with two seconds left ended the game and Irish season just short of their goal.
The goal wasn’t to get to the state finals or even the Breslin Center, according to Caroll. All his team wanted was one more chance to play Dearborn Divine Child, who beat them in the Catholic League semifinals.
“At the beginning of the season we didn’t really set concrete expectations,” Caroll said. “We really wanted to get another shot at them.”
Divine Child won the Carleton-Airport Regional and will Marshall on Tuesday.
Contact Michael Florek at email@example.com.