WHITE PLAINS – There are a number of factors that led to Ursuline’s consolation game win over Monroe-Woodbury in the Slam Dunk Tournament on Tuesday, but it was Cara Garvey’s clutch play in the final seconds of overtime that ultimately sealed it.
Garvey picked off an inbounds pass with 16.3 seconds left, was fouled, then sank both free throws. The senior’s timely shooting erased any hopes of a Crusaders comeback and closed out a 47-40 Koalas win at the Westchester County Center.
“It was really risky,” Garvey said. “I was just going for the ball at that point.”
Both teams were in the bonus at the time, so any Ursuline foul would’ve sent Monroe-Woodbury to the line for two free throws.
While Garvey’s heads-up play proved to be beneficial in the most pivotal point of the game, Ursuline head coach Beth Wooters was thoroughly impressed by the guard’s defense throughout Tuesday’s game.
“She was the spark, she was great,” Wooters said of Garvey, who stands a touch over 5-foot-3. “Here a point guard comes out with six rebounds against a very big team.”
Monroe-Woodbury, which entered the tournament averaging 22.6 points allowed per game in six wins, held the Koalas to one field goal in the first quarter, which came with just over eight seconds left.
Ursuline’s Katie McLoughlin was dynamic all over the spacious County Center court, scoring seven of the team’s first nine points. The junior forward finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two assists.
“I thought we were extremely sloppy to start, offensively, but I thought, defensively, both teams did a really good job on each other,” Wooters said. “The second half, we finally settled in.”
Each team forced 22 turnovers.
Wooters said that facing state-ranked Penfield on Monday was an excellent test for her team and will serve the Koalas well going forward.
“I don’t know if we’re going to see a team that’s that big, so it’s just good to play that kind of competition,” she said. “This was a quality win against a quality team (Tuesday).”
Twitter: @Zacchio_LoHud, @LoHudGirlsHoops