Chapelgate senior Sydney Carnock had a stellar second-half Thursday against Gerstell, scoring five key points in the fourth quarter to get her team back in the game.
But with less than four seconds left and the Yellowjackets trailing by three, Carnock couldn’t cap off the rally and force overtime, as her last-second 3-point attempt was just off the mark.
Although Chapelgate walked out of its home gym with the tight 31-27 defeat, for Carnock, coach Titorian Richardson and the rest of the Yellowjackets it felt more like a win with the way they played, especially down the stretch.
“[I’m going to tell them] to keep fighting, just trying to get to their ultimate goal, which is conference play,” he said. “They did a great job I thought. We’re doing a lot better than we were doing last year. Seniors are stepping up – and for me, it’s not a loss it’s a win.”
Chapelgate has made some serious strides from last season, where they only totaled one win. This year, already with four victories under its belts, the Yellowjackets have played teams tough and the Falcons were no different on Thursday.
It started as a low-scoring affair between the two teams, with Gerstell holding a 5-4 advantage heading into the second quarter. However the Falcons opened up the following eight minutes on a 5-0 run, which gave them their largest lead of the half, 10-4, with 3:55 to play.
Chapelgate was held without a basket in the second quarter, but it worked the paint and got to the foul line six times in the period, hitting on half, which ultimately cut the score 12-7 at the break.
The Yellowjackets found their shooting touch in the second half, and showed it right in the opening minutes with Madison Boyd quickly stepping up and knocking down a 3.
“We can all shoot,” Richardson said. “The whole team can shoot, just a matter of them having enough confidence to do it; that’s what the difference was [from the first half], being confident.”
Carnock then took over late in the period, recording four points in the final 43 seconds, which cut the score, 19-15, heading in to the fourth quarter.
Lauren Messinese scored the opening bucket of the period for Gerstell, but Chapelgate countered with a clutch trey by Mya Boyd, followed by another score by Carnock, getting their team within three with 4:28 remaining.
The Falcons made a mini 6-0 run that put the deficit back at eight, but Carnock and Madison Boyd hit back-to-back buckets, making it a four-point game.
With 1:29 left, Tyra Echevarra (12 points) hit 1-of-2 from the foul line, extending the Falcons lead, 29-27. But with 43 seconds left, Carnock turned around and drilled another 3, putting the Yellowjackets in great position to complete the come back.
“Sydney is a special player,” Richardson added. [She’s a] senior, she’s been on here for four years. When we’re defending she’s there. She is just always going to step up.”
Echevarra earned a trip to the foul line following the Carnock basket and again, hit just 1-of-2 from the line, keeping Chapelgate alive with a one-possession game.
The Falcons did a good job guarding the perimeter and switching on picks on the Yellowjackets ensuing possession, but Carnock created some space and tossed up an attempt from beyond the arc, but her shot hit off the side of the rim and out of play.
Chapelgate was then forced to foul to stop the clock and Noel Talbot (nine points) iced it from the charity stripe, solidifying the, 31-27 outcome.
Carnock led her team with 13 points – all coming in the second half – while Joi Thorton (five points), Amanda Rickett (four points), Madison Boyd (four points) and Mya Boyd (three points) followed offensively.
Chapelgate isn’t back on the floor until 2017, when it takes on IAAM C foe, Friends on Jan. 4 for a 5:30 p.m. matchup.
Gerstell 31, Chapelgate 27
G: Echevarra 12, Talbot 9, Manning 5, Messinese 2.
C (4-4): Carnock 13, Thorton 5, Rickett 4, Ma. Boyd 4, My. Boyd 3.
Half: 12-7, G.