Shevlin Guides Mary Louis To State Federation Title Win
By Elio Velez
But point guard Casey Shevlin was not going to allow her Mary Louis Academy to wither in a pressure situation in the fourth quarter. Shevlin willed her squad as the senior scored 17 points as Mary Louis defeated JFK, 51-44 for the N.Y. State Federation 'A' title.
Mary Louis held off a furious fourth quarter rally by JFK to win their first federation championship since winning the Class 'D' title in 2002.
Maral Javadifar scored all of her seven points in the fourth quarter and Amanda Burakoski chipped in 15 points for Mary Louis, who finished the season with a record of 24-7.
Shevlin's exhaustion turned to glee when she hugged head coach Joe Lewinger on the court as the buzzer ended. She'll graduate knowing that the emotional rollercoaster ride that Mary Louis has gone though in the postseason ended in victory.
"There was no way we were going to come all this way and lose at the Federation."
Shevlin, a senior made all six of her free throws, which were valuable points on the board in the fourth quarter for Mary Louis, who turned away JFK's huge second half comeback.
"We seem to make a habit of that," Shevlin said as Mary Louis had held off their previous opponent St. Peter's in the state catholic 'A' title game and JFK from completing ppotential second half comeback victories.
The Hilltoppers were comfortably in front by a score of 38-21 in the third quarter but JFK's Marqutte bound point guard Tatiyiana McMorris got hot. In a frantic comeback, McMorris, who scored 17 points and seven assists, was the catalyst for JFK to climb back from a 17 point deficit to take a 44-43 lead.
With less than three minutes remaining, Shevlin remembered the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan defeat to Christ the King. In that game, TMLA had an eight point lead in the fourth quarter, which disappeared as the Lady Royals won the game.
Shevlin directed her team on both ends of the floor at a vital time. Javadifar's layup gave Mary Louis a 45-44 lead with 2:30 left and four straight free throws by Shevlin in the final minute clinched the win.
As a point guard in her four seasons, Shevlin matured to become a leader on and off the court.
It is those qualities according to junor teammate Kelly Carman, who won the game's sportsman award, says was vital for the state champions. And to leave the remaining players with a confidence to once again contend next year.
"I have so much confidence in her (Shevlin). She's a great player." Carman said.