John Carroll senior guard Marisa Ziegler was equally impressive. Ziegler’s three-point shot with 1:26 to play, gave John Carroll a 40-39 lead. Unfortunately, the Patriots didn’t score again.
Concordia Prep senior Niyona Smith’s basket put the Saints back ahead, 41-40, with under :40 left. Seconds later, it was Ford, on a short jumper, to extend the lead to three, 43-40, with 22.4 seconds to play.
“I was a little nervous, but it was really my team, I mean my team played amazing and I’m very proud of all of them. I wasn’t really expecting them to go in, God kind of surprised me there,” Ford said. “This year, we’ve really got some good girls and we were hoping for a championship to show that to all the bigger teams that we can do well. And I think beating John Carroll put a big thing on our name.”
Ziegler, whose 15 points led the Patriots, tried to tie the game with a three in the closing seconds, but the shot didn’t fall.
The game’s final points came from Smith on two technical foul shots, given when John Carroll called for a timeout and the Patriots didn’t have one.
The Patriots, were playing a second game in less than 24 hours, which can have an affect on players, especially the legs. Patriots coach Tyrell Howard-Franklin didn’t think that was the issue.
“Obviously, early on we came out shooting the ball fairly well, I thought we kind of fell in love with that, early in the first half,” Howard-Franklin said. “That kind of hurt us in terms of being able to be able to do some other things and get in some rhythms in other ways.”
Kyleigh Monk (12 points) and Brandi Swinton both made three-point baskets in the first quarter and that allowed the Patriots to lead, 11-10, after one quarter.
Monk added another three in the second quarter and Ziegler tossed in two long shots. The shots propelled John Carroll’s lead to eight points, the game’s largest, 24-16.
Concordia Prep, though, closed the quarter on a 12-0 run and led 28-24 at the half.
The Patriots outscored the Saints, 5-1, to pull even, 29-29, midway through third quarter. Tessa Boswell’s three-point play pushed John Carroll ahead, 31-30, late in the quarter, but the Saints, on a Smith (11 points) basket, led 34-32, at the quarter close.
“Like I told them throughout the game, games run in cycles. They may get up, we may get up, but we can never watch the clock, just keep playing your game and you want to be on that last cycle at the end of the game,” Saints coach John Cooney said.
Patriots beat Mt. de Sales
John Carroll celebrated ‘Senior Night’ Friday, beating Mt. de Sales, 40-33.