Despite Loss, Stella Maris Remains In Hunt For State Title
The Stella Maris Varsity Basketball team suffered an unfortunate derailment in their quest for a CHSAA Division II Diocesan Championship. Their loss to Bishop Loughlin (44-36) in the semifinals closed one door but opened a new one in the form of a "B" State Championship hunt.
The Flippers were held to just 36 points. This was their lowest output in over two months of play. The offense had been running on all cylinders; in each game multiple variations of three players would combine for 45 points or more.
The high octane offensive assault, coupled with a very stingy defense, had diocesan championship hopes alive and kickin' at SM these past few weeks.
The Loughlin game started true to form for the Blue&Gold: Ashley Raaf hit her first three pointer mere seconds into the game and that was closely followed by Stephanie Quick's trey. SM up 6-0 and then things went cold.
Loughlin went on a 13-0 run which finally was ended near the end of the quarter by another trey by Quick. Unfortunately, this was not a sign of good things to come. The second quarter found SM barely afloat offensively.
In the meantime, Loughlin (also an explosive offensive threat) added to their lead with another run of 10-1. With just over two minutes to go before the half, SM was trailing 23-10; and had not yet scored in the quarter.
Finally Jen Miller broke through with a basket in the paint (assist to Quick) followed by another assist by Quick this time to Stephanie Van Rossem. And then with 1:36 to go Quick and Raaf reminded all just how lethal a combination they can be.
The first Quick pick (at half court) was followed up by a beauty of a cross court "bomb" to Raaf. Layup. On the very next play the same result. Only this one was a perfect strike thrown three quarters of the court over 3 Lion opponents as Raaf snared it for another layup. Ashley followed this up with another trey and just like that the Flippers were back in it, down 2 at half time.
SM opened the scoring in the third with a two by Raaf to knot the game at 23. But again, the offense went cold and the defense suffered several mental lapses as Loughlin took the period 14-7. SM outscored the Lions 8-7 in the fourth. But the game was out of reach.
Raaf led SM with 13 points. Stella displayed gutsy guile as they hung around in a tough, hard luck game (hoping to give themselves a chance at a victory) on a day where things just did not click. This trait, while a testament to each player's maturity during the course of the season, was unfortunately not enough to win this day. Much credit should be given to the Loughlin Lions who were able to capitalize on SM's miscues. Stella Maris leaves for Buffalo today. They are the number three seed in the CHSAA Class B State Playoffs and will face off against a Buffalo team yet to be determined.
Flipper Footnotes: thanks and appreciation to Miss Martinez and the entire SM community for the great send off and well wishes. Mrs. F we will miss you on the bus. Miss B how many eggs does it take to bake 13,000 cookies. Coach Mc: Mrs G will text you the results! Grandma and Grandpa Raaf (our own lucky charms): thanks for all the rides. Safe trip to Buffalo and OOO-Rah!