Summer Classic Wrap-Up
By Keith Goldberg
The semi-finals and championship provided a fitting conclusion to the Girls High School season. Each time you thought you had figured it out, another surprise was in store.
M.A.R. Mechanical squared off with Goony’s Gunners who were bolstered by the return of Janelle McManus but weakened by the absence of Erin Dollard and Annie Egan. With the odds favoring M.A.R., Goony’s battled gamely to trail 21-20 at the half. An injury to Clare Droesch then opened the door for Goony’s. Inexplicably they failed to capitalize, scoring only three points in the third period. M.A.R. extended their margin before holding off a final rally by Goony’s and closing out a 42-33 win. Maura McShane picked up the slack to lead M.A.R. with 15. Jeanine Kenel added nine and Katie Raphael eight from the free throw line. Janelle McManus led Goony’s with 13.
Noonan’s Express followed, confident in the knowledge that it is hard enough to beat a good team three times in a row, never mind four. Additionally, the regular season titleists were at full strength while Marsh & McClennan was missing Sharpshooter Jen Geosits. The first quarter was a barnburner as both teams started on fire. An end of the period burst put Marsh & McClennan up 18-11. They extended their margin to 29-21 as Tricia Tubridy finished the half with 13 points. Noonan’s continued to be plagued by poor outside shooting, and with Vicki Wancel scoring 11 of her 15 in the second half, Marsh advanced 46-38. Justine Paxhia added 10 in victory. Kate Lawler paced Noonan’s with 13 points and outstanding defense, but could not pull her teammates along for the ride.
The championship began with Droesch on the sidelines for M.A.R after her semi-final injury, and a packed house hoping for a competitive game. It did not appear there would be one. Marsh & McClennan raced to an 11-3 lead and M.A.R. looked overmatched and confused on offense. However, Tricia Tubridy picked up her second foul. M.A.R. scrapped its way back into the game with seven points in the final 1:30 to trail 11-10 at the quarter. More importantly, they showed they would not roll over and were ready to fight. Maura McShane grabbed the spotlight, and with nine points in the second period, pushed M.A.R. into the lead 25-20 at the half. The key again was an end of the quarter surge.
The third period was uneventful but M.A.R. edged further ahead, 36-27. Marsh appeared stunned by the resistance and was out of sync. Tricia Tubridy then fouled out early in the fourth quarter, apparently sealing their fate. Instead, Marsh & McClennan went on a furious comeback with Krystal Hill scoring eight in a flurry. But it was Maura McShane’s night and she would not be denied. When Katie Raphael knocked down a three pointer with 1:10 remaining, it put a dagger in the heart of Marsh & McClennan. The final score was 57-47 as M.A.R. Mechanical won the title. Tricia Tubridy scored 13, Justine Paxhia 12, Krystal Hill 10, and Vicki Wancel eight for Marsh & McClennan. Maura McShane turned in an MVP performance including 23 points. Katie Raphael added 14 and Caitlin O’Callaghan seven. The rest of the M.A.R. team included Clare Droesch, Jeanine Kenel, Stephanie Russo, Beth McGuinness, Moira Turner, Lauren Barko, and Kristen Hayes, and was coached by John Raphael.
Thanks also to our other coaches: Beth Curley-Marsh & McClennan, John Nies- Goony’s Gunners, Jeanine Zocks- Noonan’s Express. Kudos to Summer Classic Director Kevin Raphael on his maiden voyage and once again to Girls Commissioner Debbie Kenel. For the St. Francis Summer Classic, Goodbye until next year.