PERU — The St. Bede Lady Bruins couldn’t outlast the Riverdale Lady Rams as they were edged out 52-49 Tuesday night during St. Bede 2A Regional action at the Academy.
Senior guard Laura Sickley had 8 straight points, including two 3-pointers, in just over a minute midway through the first to start off a 16-2 Lady Bruins run to finish out the first quarter with an 18-5 lead.
“I think we just caught them on their heels," said SBA coach Tom McGunnigal. "I don’t know if they have seen us or not, if they knew exactly what we had or what we were going to do but we hit a couple threes in the first quarter, and we just came out and got them a little bit, and then we went into a little bit of a lull, and they brought it back, and if we would have been able to sustain that it would have been great but it’s tough to sustain that kind of pace.”
Riverdale would answer the Lady Bruin run with a huge second quarter as the St. Bede offense suddenly went cold as the Lady Rams went on a 14-1 run that lasted the entire quarter.
“They hit some threes and we hit some twos. I knew if we were trying to catch up with twos to their threes it was going to be hard,” McGunnigal said.
The scoring streak knotted the game 19-19 at halftime.
“We played big, and we played hard. We played fast at times but when we weren’t playing fast that’s when they got us a little bit,” McGunnigal said.
Riverdale looked to be in control of the game early in the third quarter, jumping out to a six-point lead. That lead was quickly erased as senior forward Raley Mauck knocked down back-to-back jump shots and senior guard Lexie Miranda added a base line jumper of her own to tie the game 31-31.
“She was really believing she didn’t want it to end. I’ve already second guessed myself if I should have called a timeout because she had been playing so well so I just kind of let it go,” McGunnigal said.
A Mauck steal led to one made free throw by sophomore center Hanna Bima giving St. Bede a 34-33 lead going into the forth quarter.
Riverdale grabbed the lead with 6:38 to play on a steal and layup by senior guard Lauren Claus to make the score 35-34.
The Lady Rams stretched their lead to 9 points on sophomore forward Emily Baldwin’s layup with 2:18 left to play.
“We scrambled and made some plays we got some offensive rebounds we got aggressive and stopped them from scoring,” McGunnigal said.
The Lady Bruins were sparked back to life as Mauck stepped up once again and drilled a 3-pointer to start an 8-0 run that got them within one point with the score 49-48 Riverdale.
Riverdale knocked down 3 of 4 free throws in the final 46 seconds to seal the victory.
Sickley and Bima led St. Bede with 12 points each for the Lady Bruin attack.
“They still battled (tonight), they battled all year,” McGunnigal said. “Battled against breaks, they battled against foul trouble, adversity, lack of offense, lack of defense and they just continued to go at it. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
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