Sarah Hill's short jumper barely rolled over the rim with five seconds left to lift McDonogh to a 42-40 upset of No. 11 Bryn Mawr yesterday in the Association of Independent Schools A Division championship at the College of Notre Dame.
"I didn't want to be the last person with the last shot," said Hill, a veteran of three AIS title games. "But we weren't looking for anybody in particular. It was just whatever happened. Debbie Johnson gave it to me, and I had the shot."
The title was the second straight for McDonogh (14-4), which lost to Bryn Mawr (16-2) twice during the regular season. In the second loss, McDonogh's strong showing in the second half convinced coach Becky Clark that her team could handle Bryn Mawr.
"My team walked off the floor after that second game knowing they could beat that team," Clark said. "We needed time to get through the fear factor and gain confidence as a
team. You could see that everybody played good ball today. We worked together as a team."
Hill's game-winner capped off a wild second half. Late in the third quarter, Bryn Mawr come roaring back from a 34-20 deficit. The Mawrtians had gotten into early foul trouble and starting forward Julie Szymanski had to sit down with her third foul after the first four minutes.
Much of the game was a shootout between Bryn Mawr's Kisha Ford (33 points, five three-pointers, 10-for-31 from the field) and McDonogh's Sonia Chase (20 points, three three-pointers, 7-for-17).
Chase, who had 13 rebounds to help the Eagles take a 43-34 edge on the boards, hit her three-pointers in the second quarter. The Eagles also controlled the offensive boards and outscored the Mawrtians 14-1 in the quarter. The Mawrtians were 0-for-9 from the field.
But late in the fourth quarter, Ford hit four straight three-pointers to bring Bryn Mawr within 39-38 with 1:21 left. On the next play, she stole the ball -- her seventh steal of the game -- but she missed a shot with 23 seconds left.
McDonogh got the rebound, and Ford fouled Chase with 15 seconds left. Chase, who was just two of six from the line at that point, hit the first to put the Eagles ahead, 40-38. But she missed the second.
On the rebound, McDonogh's Niamh Corcoran fouled Tiffany Gordon. At the other end, Gordon hit both ends of a one-and-one to tie the game at 40. After Hill's basket, the Mawrtians had to settle for Ford's backcourt desperation shot that hit only the backboard.
Garrison Forest also pulled an upset, knocking off Park, 35-34, in the AIS B Division championship.
In a game with 40 free throws, it was appropriate that Angela Premo (13 points) scored the game-winner on a foul shot. Premo hit the first of two shots with 1:14 left to give Garrison (8-5) a 35-31 lead. That margin held up despite two Garrison turnovers, three Park shots and seven Park free throws in the final 1:08.
Park (14-4) had its best chance to win on the same inbound play that the Maryland women nearly beat Virginia with Tuesday night. Alexa Wilder lobbed the ball over the defense to Jayme Gilden (eight points) near the basket, but Gilden couldn't get off
a good shot.