Bow girls beat rival Bishop Brady to earn berth in D-III championship game
Bow's Lindsey Nerbonne tries to find a shot past Bishop Brady's defense in the Division III girls semifinal on February 28, 2013 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow won over Brady 36-31.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Bishop Brady's Riselly Deoleo jumps for a shot over Bow's Lindsey Nerbonne in the Division III girls semifinal on February 28, 2013 at Southern New Hampshire University. Bow won 36-31 over Brady.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
MANCHESTER – Bow has owned the third quarter all season. But last night in the Division III semifinals, all the Falcons owned in the third was a lonely pair of free throws.
“Only getting those two foul shots for the whole third quarter forced us to dig in and ask how bad do we really want it,” Bow senior forward Suzanne Barry said. “We came out in the fourth and knew we had to take care of business, so we started being more aggressive and pushing the ball, and that made a difference.”
After scoring just 17 points through three quarters, the No. 2 Falcons (20-1) dropped 19 in the fourth to claim a 36-31 win over No. 3 Bishop Brady and a spot in tomorrow’s D-III girls’ final against No. 4 White Mountains (18-3). The Spartans – who beat Bow, 36-29, in the semis last season –upset top-ranked Conant in the other semifinal, 46-31.
It was the fourth meeting of the year between Bow and Brady (18-3), and the third win for the Falcons, who lost to the Green Giants in the season opener but beat them in the Capital Area Holiday tournament, in the regular-season rematch on Feb. 1 and again last night at Southern New Hampshire University.
As usual, it was senior Lindsey Nerbonne leading the way for Bow when it mattered most. Nerbonne scored seven of her game-high 13 points in the fourth, and also had two of her five assists in the frame.
“I think Lindsey tried to do a little too much (in the first half), and that’s just a sign of somebody who wants it a lot, but we had to remind her at halftime that she’s got teammates and she needs to rely on them, and I think it paid off,” Bow Coach Bill Vermette said. “She was a lot better in the second half. ... At that time of the game, we want the ball in her hands, there’s no two ways about it.”
Brady held a 20-17 lead going into the fourth, but the Falcons went on an 11-3 run to go up 28-23 with 2:16 to play. Nerbonne had five points and two assists during the run, but Ashlie Tucker (nine points) also hit a pair of big hoops during the stretch and Dina Tischofer (five points, six rebounds) added another.
The Giants clawed back from there, getting crucial free throws from Tori LeBlanc (six points, three rebounds) and Sarah Thomas (six points, three rebounds) and an offensive rebound putback from Taylor Ong (team-high 11 points, four rebounds) that made it 32-31 with 27 seconds left. After a free throw from Bow’s Taylor Marston (two rebounds, three steals), Brady was down just two with the ball, but the Giants turned it over before they could put up a shot, and Nerbonne went 3-for-4 from the line in the final 18 seconds to seal Bow’s win.
“It came down to missed shots for us,” Brady Coach Aaron Brochu said. “We just missed too many in the end.”
The Giants shot just 28.6 percent from the floor for the game, but that was nearly identical to Bow’s 28.9 percent. The difference was the volume. Brady went 10-for-35 while Bow was 13-for-45, the 10 extra shots thanks in large part to a 17-11 edge in offensive rebounds.
“We didn’t rebound well and the Barry girl (seven offensive rebounds, 12 total) just killed us,” Brochu said. “That was a big difference maker.”
“Brady has good big kids, I don’t think we’ve played another team with big kids like theirs, so we knew a key to the game was getting every rebound so they couldn’t have second-shot opportunities,” said Barry, who also finished with six points. “I definitely felt like I had a big rebounding game, and it’s good to see when I’m not scoring I can contribute in other ways.”
She was certainly contributing in other ways before the game. The Falcons lost in the semifinals as the No. 2 seed last year and they wanted to make sure that wasn’t going to happen again.
“We were in this exact situation last year, but we knew what to expect this year, so we got super pumped on the bus ride down, doing Bow cheers and Falcon cheers,” Barry said. “And in the locker room before the game we were screaming and banging on the walls. We were just so excited for the opportunity to be here because playing in this environment is so special.”
Now they have one more chance in that environment, this time with a championship on the line.
(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3371 or email@example.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)