Sophomore Kate Broderick drained a 3-pointer with less than two minutes to go in OT to give Park Ridge a come-from-behind 41-38 victory over Cresskill on Wednesday.
PARK RIDGE - Owls sophomore Kate Broderick drained a 3-pointer with less than two minutes to go in overtime to propel the Park Ridge girls basketball team to an impressive 41-38 come from behind victory over Cresskill Wednesday afternoon.
A minute earlier Cougars senior Erin Fahy had put Cresskill up 38-36 with a shot from in close.
After Broderick’s heroics, senior Abigail McManus added a pair of free throws to close out the scoring. Cresskill attempted a couple of desperation three pointers but they were unable to connect.
Cresskill grabbed a 12-6 lead early as Fahy and senior Maddie Morgan combined for 9 first quarter points and senior Julia Hasenstab swished a three-pointer 30 seconds into the second quarter.
Cougars senior Sophia Doto held Owls high-scoring junior Allie Shenloogian to 2 points in the first half with tenacious one-on-one defense.
“[Cresskill coach] Mike McCourt always has a good game plan,” said Owls coach Ryan Dennis. “There’s a reason they’re in the sectional final all the time. Sophia is the daughter of a coach (Mike Doto, former boys coach at Cresskill and Paramus Catholic). Coaches kids always play great and Sophia is a great player. I thought she did a great job on Allie in the first half.”
Cresskill extended its lead to 11 as the third quarter ended thanks to another 3-pointer by Hasenstab and Fahy, who added 11 of her game-high 21 points.
“Mike McCourt is one of the best coaches in Bergen County,” said Dennis. “His teams are always so disciplined defensively. They gave us a really hard time, clogging the lane and playing really good, strong defense. They’re a great rebounding team as well. They’re going to be a dangerous team down the line.”
The Owls switched to a trap defense and it paid dividends almost immediately as the Cougars began to turn the ball over on consecutive possessions.
“That’s something we pride ourselves on,” Shenloogian said of working the trap. “Coach always talks about defense and how important it is - it always leads to easy baskets. And that’s kind of what got us back in the game and got our momentum.”
“We used the 2-2-1 early in the game in the full court situation,” said Dennis. “I thought we would give the trap a try. Our girls love to trap. We played high-energy defense and that gave us a nice boost. It’s something we have worked on. We were talking about trying to speed Cresskill up - they’re so talented. They gave us a really hard time in the first half. I thought the adjustment was good. I thought we put some pressure on them to make them uncomfortable. That’s a credit to my girls - how hard they work. They trap incredibly well and they work together as a team and that’s what we preach.”
As a result of getting extra offensive possessions senior Mary Craffey tallied 4 of her 11 points and Shenloogian began to drive to the basket, drawing fouls and making free throws. She canned an impressive 10-of-12 foul shots in the fourth quarter, including one that tied the game 36-all with 13.8 seconds to go in regulation,
“We work on them every day in practice,” Shenloogian said. “We really hold ourselves accountable to making those free throws.”
Park Ridge improved to 7-0 while Cresskill fell to 3-4.
“Give credit to my girls - they bonded together when the times got tough,” said Dennis. “We were down by 11 and boy did they fight for each other and fight for their teammates and that’s what makes us proud about being Park Ridge Owls.”
“We’re not usually a first-half team,” Shenloogian added. “But we know how to turn it up in the second half and get the job done. I think we had a bunch of confidence in each other today and everything we were doing on the court. It just led to us making baskets and getting easier shots to pull out the win.”
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