There is a great speech by Al Pacino, in the movie Any Given Sunday. He talks about the inches in a game that makes the difference between winning and losing. Yesterday At Monmouth University ST. JOHN’S VIANNEY won the game of inches and their schools 14 SCT TITLE.
In a back and forth battle yesterday. SJV did what all great teams do in a big spot…. they didn’t panic and they didn’t make mistakes. They made all the right plays at all the right moments. They also allowed there star Madison St. Rose be there star, when it mattered most. When ever Manchester took a lead or made a run. There was Madison St Rose putting a stop to it. It’s why MADISON ST. ROSE was voted this years SCT MVP.
This game was about the little things. While Manchester struggled to find support for Destiny Adams. SJV’s Katie Hill was giving Madison St.Rose that all important running mate. Katie Hill was sensational all evening. Her 15 points and 5 rebounds will make the papers. What won’t make the papers is her defense and leadership. There should have been two MVP’s last night because Katie Hill was that good.
Last night Manchester could not knock down shots. It was a total turnaround from the semifinals, were everything they threw up hit the bottom of the net. Christina Whitehead has been knocking down three’s her entire career. Yesterday she made the biggest three point shot of her career. In the 4th quarter Manchester found life and the lead. It was gut check time for SJV. So just like she has done all season, Christina Whitehead knocked down a three point shot to give SJV the lead back at 40-38. This shot sounded the bell. It let Manchester know, this year was different.
Last night Megan Cahalan introduced herself as the best young post player in the Shore. She simply could not have been more reliable and sensational. Her defense and screening were only parts of her greatness. Her transition defense and conditioning is what separates her from every young post player I know. She battled Destiny Adams all night. Adams was GREAT (25 points, 14 rebounds) but Cahalan made her work day and night. Megan Cahalan was special last evening. She was great as well.
Emma Bruen, Madison St. Rose and Ashley O’Connor go hand in hand. It’s hard to separate them. Emma Bruen took care of the MANCHESTER backcourt the way she has taken care of every opponents backcourt. She turned the lights completely out, she put them in the darkness. It’s funny how every great guard who plays against Bruen just seems to have a off day vs. her… folks those off days have everything to do Miss. Emma Bruen.
Ashley O’ Connor is Emma Bruen’s defensive partner in the backcourt. She too likes to throw opponents into the darkness as well. Her 8 points, 5 rebounds, a block and a steal was all in another’s days work. She has superstar written all over her these days.
Freshman Janie Bachman’s is not suppose to play in these type games. This was a game of inches last night. One bad pass, one bad shot, one missed defensive assignment and you lose. Well Janie Bachmann won the game of inches last night. She gave SJV valuable mistake free basketball. She now has won a SCT Chip as a freshman. She also now has started her journey to greatness.
Coach Dawn Karpell has been on both sides of the SCT. She knows the JOY of winning and the AGONY of defeat. Yesterday she was magnificent from start to finish. She shorten her bench, she called time outs, she ran masterful yet simple effective sets for her superstar. She keep it simple and make all the tough adjustments. Dawn Karpell did what was called coaching last night. She brought her “A” game and scored points from the bench last night. Manchester felt her all evening long. Her teams did all the little things last night. They made there free throws, forced Manchester to make a freshman take the biggest shot of the year. Coach Karpell and her team knew.. When you add up all the inches, you get … the #14 SCT TITLE IN SCHOOL HISTORY…. and 3rd in the Dawn Karpell era