For the St. John Vianney girls basketball team, a late-January game against an out-of-state opponent after the Lancers had already played 16 games for NJSIAA power points, might not mean much.
However, the Lancers’ 17th game on Sunday afternoon against Ossining, the consensus No. 1 team in New York State, might sting for a while.
Down two starters in senior guard Kat Egan and junior forward Katie Beriont, St. John Vianney, ranked No. 2 in the Asbury Park Press, hung tough through four quarters and three overtimes.
In the end, Ossining was able to pull out a victory in what will go down as arguably their toughest test to date against a tri-state team. It was also a game that solidified the fact that, despite injuries and regrouping, the Lancers won’t be going away quietly.
Ossining senior guard Saniya Chong, a University of Connecticut recruit and McDonald’s All-American Game nominee, scored 19 of her game-high 45 points during the three overtimes, including the last six from the foul line, as the Pride outlasted the Lancers, 106-100, at Holmdel High School.
Before fouling out, senior guard Lyndsay Rowe scored 27 of her career-high 37 points in the second half and overtime, while freshman guard Kelly Campbell finished with 18 before fouling out.
“This was a challenging game for us, but this is what we’re all about,” Rowe said. “To be a part of this and to be able to look back at this years from now is an amazing thing for us. I think we got a lot better today and I think we gained a lot of experience.”
Late in the second overtime with Ossining (11-3) leading 90-87, a play broke down and the ball eventually found Campbell, who knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer to tie the game and send it to a third overtime.
Once there, the Pride, despite having three starters fouled out at that point, took control. An Alexandra Cristello layup in transition and a Shadeen Samuels follow off a Chong miss capped a quick 6-0 spurt to open the overtime and give Ossining a 96-90 lead.
St. John Vianney (10-7) clawed back to trail just 102-99 late, but an Emily Uribe 3-pointer from the top of the key that would have tied it was off. Chong closed the game by going 6-for-6 from the foul line to ice it.
“It was good for our kids to not lose their composure,” Ossining head coach Dan Ricci said. “They dug in, they finished the game with one starter on the court, I give my kids a lot of credit.”
The Lancers trailed by as many as nine at 68-59 midway through the fourth quarter, but closed the period on a 13-4 to force the overtime. During that run, Rowe scored five points, including a 3-pointer from the left corner that cut the deficit to one at 71-70.
HOLMDEL 71, BISHOP LOUGHLIN (N.Y.) 55: Down by nine at halftime, the Hornets (12-4) opened the third quarter with a 10-0 to get back in it and senior forward Lauren Kelly then scored the first four points in what would become a 30-13 fourth quarter.
Senior guard Tara Inman scored 20 of her game-high 28 points in the second half. Inman, already the school’s all-time leading scorer, entered the day needing 20 points to become the school’s all-time leader regardless of gender. She now has 1,496 points.
Junior guard Tori Cardaci scored all 12 of her points in the second half, while junior guard Cassie Fontana finished with 12 as well.
MOORE CATHOLIC (N.Y.) 48, RED BANK CATHOLIC 41: The No. 1 Caseys (16-1) scored eight points in a span of 55 seconds late in the fourth quarter to cut a 10-point deficit to two with 1:06 to play, but couldn’t get over the hump against the Mavericks (9-3).
The perennial Staten Island power went 11-for-13 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, including a 6-for-6 showing from Victoria Rubin. The senior guard finished with a team-high 12 points, while semior guard Taylor Robertson had 11.
For Red Bank Catholic, junior guard Grace Fallon scored 10 of her team-high 12 points in the second half.
LONG ISLAND LUTHERAN (N.Y.) 54, RUMSON-FH 44: The Crusaders (11-3), 2012 New York State Federation Class B finalists from the Brookville section of Long Island, opened the second half on a 12-2 to take control for good against the No. 7 Bulldogs (11-6).
Sophomore guard Boogie Brozoski scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the second half, while junior guard Katie Lavelle added seven of her 11 in the first half.
Senior guard Jess Harvey scored eight of her team-high 13 points in the first half, while senior guard Hannah Miller added for Rumson, which lost to Manasquan on Friday night without sophomores Grace Stant and Janae Mayfield. Stant sat while sick and Mayfield was diagnosed with a double ear infection. Both played on Sunday.
POINT BORO 61, ARCHBISHOP MOLLOY (N.Y.) 53: Senior forward Kerry Malleck hit a 3-pointer from the right corner to put the Panthers (16-1) up seven with 1:40 to play as the outlasted the Stanners (11-6).
Malleck finished 12, while senior guard Kelly Hughes scored 15 of her game-high 33 points in the victory.