St. Timothy’s held Mount de Sales to two points in the third quarter and extended a five-point lead to 13, but they couldn’t relax in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference playoffs.
Junior Charlotte McCauslin sunk a three-pointer to pull the Sailors within six, 36-30, with 2:50 left in the game.
But St. Timothy’s junior Jada Johnson drove through traffic and hit a tough layup while getting fouled 10 seconds later.
She finished the three-point play to bump the lead to 39-30 and started a 9-2 run to end the game as host St. Tim’s held on for a 45-32 victory.
St. Timothy’s (14-3) rode the scoring and interior defense of Ande’a Cherisier (game-high 16 points) and Jasmine Johnson (12).
The Sailors (11-13) were led by senior Megan Matsko (12 points).
Jasmine Johnson scored seven points in the first quarter, including her only three-pointer of the night, and St. Tim’s led 13-8 at the break.
Two three-pointers from Harper Eudy and a short jumper by Matsko were the only points for the Sailors in the first quarter.
Cherisier made the only three field goals in the second quarter for St. Timothy’s, but they got two free throws from Laela Martinez and one from Jada Johnson and took a 22-17 lead into halftime.
Jordan Harris had five points and Matsko had four in the quarter for the Sailors.
In the third quarter, St. Timothy’s increased its intensity with the half-court trap and they forced 11 turnovers.
When the Sailors did beat the trap, Jasmine Johnson was there swatting away three shots in the quarter.
“We were definitely telling them, we’ve still got to play some defense up top, but we’ve still got that defender out there so just trust your help,” St. Timothy’s coach Vernon Harris said. “That’s been our motto all year, trust your help.”
Johnson was just doing what she prepared for and that was staying aware of the Sailors’ top player, Matsko.
“I was focusing on blocking [Matsko] out of the game because we knew that she was catching the ball on the free throw line and we knew that every time she caught the ball on the free-throw line she would either turn middle and she would go up for the shot and she would turn baseline and go up for the shot,” Johnson said.
Matsko had the only two points for the Sailors in the third quarter and she added three rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
“It’s just that third quarter killed us,” Mount de Sales coach Trish Armstrong said. “You can’t win a game when you score 32 points, not at this level anyway.”
St. Tim’s got a three-pointer from Bri Rider and three points from Jasmine Johnson in the third quarter.
It looked like St. Timothy’s had put the game away when Jasmine Johnson scored on a putback with 3:52 left to make it 36-27.
The Sailors answered with the big trey by McCauslin before Jada Johnson answered with the three-point play.
“She has been playing tough like that, in the last couple of games she wasn’t being aggressive, but I told her let’s just play aggressive, take your time, but when you see that middle, just go for it,” Harris said. “That’s her game, she’s a real tough competitor.”
Third-seeded St. Timothy’s moves on to play in the semifinals at second-seeded Mount Carmel on Thursday, Feb. 13.
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“I can’t wait, especially since Mt. Carmel is faster and they are more scrappier, I can’t wait to see what we have next,” Jasmine Johnson said. “We are definitely focused and we definitely have some ideas and plans.”
Mount de Sales coach Armstrong is proud of the way her team developed, despite losing junior co-captain Anya Walker for the season with a torn ACL.
“We’ve come a long way, it could have been a long year, but they stepped up, they always stayed after practice and they really worked hard,” Armstrong said. “When Megan goes, we feel like these other guys will have gained valuable experience.”
St. Timothy’s 45
Ande’a Cherisier 16, Jasmine Johnson 12, Jada Johnson 6, Aryss Macktoon 4, Bri Rider 3, Derinsu Aksut 2, Laela Martinez 2.
Mount de Sales 32
Megan Matsko 12, Harper Eudy 6, Nnenna Obi 6, Jordan Harris 5, Charlotte McCauslin 3.