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Bishop Brady rallies in second half to beat rival Bow

  • Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo rebounds the ball during the game against Bow at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo rebounds the ball during the game against Bow at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014. Bishop Brady won 36-31.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Bishop Brady's Sarah Thomas tries to shoot as Bow's Amanda Murray, left, and Taylor Marston guard her during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Bishop Brady's Sarah Thomas tries to shoot as Bow's Amanda Murray, left, and Taylor Marston guard her during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014. Bishop Brady won 36-31.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo shoots the ball as Bow's Kirsten Bresson guards during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo shoots the ball as Bow's Kirsten Bresson guards during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014. Bishop Brady won 36-31.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Bow's Madeleine Horner grabs a rebound away from Bishop Brady's Meghan Kissinger during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Madeleine Horner grabs a rebound away from Bishop Brady's Meghan Kissinger during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014. Bishop Brady won 36-31.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo blocks a shot attempt by Bow's Madeleine Horner during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo blocks a shot attempt by Bow's Madeleine Horner during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014. Bishop Brady won 36-31.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Bow's Ashlie Tucker dribbles the ball toward the basket during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Ashlie Tucker dribbles the ball toward the basket during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014. Bishop Brady won 36-31.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Bow's Taylor Marston dribbles the ball around Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Bow's Taylor Marston dribbles the ball around Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014. Bishop Brady won 36-31.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo rebounds the ball during the game against Bow at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Bishop Brady's Sarah Thomas tries to shoot as Bow's Amanda Murray, left, and Taylor Marston guard her during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo shoots the ball as Bow's Kirsten Bresson guards during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Madeleine Horner grabs a rebound away from Bishop Brady's Meghan Kissinger during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo blocks a shot attempt by Bow's Madeleine Horner during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Ashlie Tucker dribbles the ball toward the basket during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Bow's Taylor Marston dribbles the ball around Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo during the game at Bishop Brady on February 8, 2014.  Bishop Brady won 36-31.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

After starting the season with nine straight wins, the Bishop Brady girls’ basketball team hit a skid where it lost two out of three. When the Green Giants faced deficits in those eventual losses to Fall Mountain and Campbell, they didn’t know how to respond and wound up falling by 18 points in each game.

Yesterday against Bow, the Giants were staring at a nine-point deficit, which felt more like 18 given the game’s defensive leaning. But this time, Brady had an answer.

“The difference is Bow is our arch enemy,” Brady senior Riselly Deoleo said. “So we have those feelings against Bow, we don’t have those feelings against Campbell or Fall Mountain.”

The Giants used that emotion, Deoleo’s 16 points and 12 rebounds, and a defense that held Bow to 11 points in the second half to come back for a 36-31 victory at home. Brady improved to 12-2 to stay in fourth place in Division III behind Newfound (14-1), Campbell (12-1) and Fall Mountain (12-1).

“This was a huge win because we want to finish in the top four,” Brady Coach Aaron Brochu said. “We probably need to win out to do that, so now we’re still in control of that.”

The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Falcons (11-4), the defending D-III champs. Bow lost just once last season (at Bishop Brady) on its way to the title, a road that included a regular-season rematch win and a semifinal victory over the Giants, which increased the rivalry between these two teams. Chances are now good that the Falcons, who were the No. 2 seed in last year’s tournament, won’t have the luxury of a top ranking or the home playoff games that come with it this season. But those weren’t necessarily the goals for this group, which lost several key seniors from last year’s team, including D-III Player of the Year Lindsey Nerbonne.

“With this team I’ve been more concerned with creating an identity and being competitive and those small things that you need in order to be successful in the tournament, and I think we’ve done that,” Bow Coach Bill Vermette said. “We would have loved to have won this game, and it would have put us in great position, but I think we can step in and compete with anybody we play.”

Both teams were ready to compete to start yesterday’s contest, even if they weren’t ready to score. The Giants had just six points in the first quarter as they kept running into Bow’s Madeleine Horner, who had five of her six blocks in the opening frame. But the Falcons only scored four in the first as Brady came up with five steals.

Bow’s Taylor Marston (team-high 11 points) hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second quarter to give the Falcons a 7-6 lead and begin an 11-3 Bow run. Marston hit two more 3s in the frame, Ashlie Tucker dished out three of her four assists, Amanda Murray scored all four of her points and the Falcons held a 20-11 lead at the break.

“In that first half we weren’t calling out our offense, we were just running around,” Deoleo said.

“I kind of thought we’d make some more shots in the first half, but our defense was solid, and that’s really where we need to be,” Brochu said. “I just told them at halftime to keep taking their shots and the tide will turn.”

Which is exactly what happened. The Giants hit their first four shots of the second half, two of them from freshman Riley Bennett (nine points), and went on a 14-2 run to take a 25-22 lead on a pretty baseline drive from Deoleo with 2:45 left in the third. Bow answered with another 3 from Marston, but Brady scored the last four points of the quarter, the final two coming on a fast break layup from Sarah Thomas, who scored all eight of her points in the third.

“We weren’t aggressive enough with the ball in the second half, we were too much of an east/west team and not enough north/south,” Vermette said. “We also got hurt by the weak side rebounding, and I think that ended up hurting us more than anything in the second half.”

The game’s pace, and scoring, slowed back to a crawl in the fourth. The Giants’ only field goal of the final quarter came off a Deoleo steal and coast-to-coast layup with 4:22 left on the clock, but Bow didn’t connect from the field until just 35 seconds remained when Kirsten Bresson hit a jumper to make it 33-28.

Bresson connected again, this time from well behind the 3-point line, with 16 seconds left to make it 33-31. And after Bennett made one of two free throws at the other end, the Falcons had the ball and a chance to tie with 10 seconds remaining. Bow’s Murray got a 3 off and may have been fouled in the process, but the shot didn’t go in and the whistle didn’t blow, and Deoleo grabbed the rebound and sank two free throws to ice it.

“Selly seems to get every rebound, it’s awesome, and she’s really taken on that leadership role,” Brochu said. “She finally understands this is her team. She’s taking ownership of it and that’s really helping out.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

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