Louln, Mounw Gown silla for AACA title
If anyone thought that Alex Louin and Mount St. Joseph were going to let silla Maria beat them two consecutive years in the ACAA finDO, WhHy hDG DnoWhHU WhLnJ coming.
Top-seeded Mount GownHG VLOOD, 57-41, Ln WhH AACA conIHUHncH finDO. LHG by LouLn’V 18-SoLnW SHUIoUPDncH, MounW SODyHG VoOLG defense and hit timely threepointers to take control of the game in the second quarter. Although silla never completely went away until midway through the quarter , LW wDV cOHDU IUoP HDUOy on that it was the Magic’s title to lose and they played that way.
“IW’V D WHUULfic coPSHWLWLvH rivalry between these two SUoJUDPV, PoVWOy bHcDuVH we’ve been successful for Vo OonJ,” MounW coDch -ohn Miller said. “Usually the championship game is between us and silla Maria. We have a lot of respect for WhHP, I WhLnk Py JLUOV cDPH out and played a really terULfic JDPH.”
LouLn, who wDV nDPHG conference MsP after the JDPH, DcWHG DV WhH oSHnHU DnG cOoVHU IoU MounW, VcoULnJ HLJhW SoLnWV Ln WhH fiUVW TuDUWHU DnG 10 SoLnWV Ln WhH ODVW. HowHvHU, WhH WHDP HIfort on defense and contributions from experienced seniors like Adrienne Cellucci DnG MHJ GHDWHnV, who hDG 10 DnG 12 SoLnWV, UHVSHc- WLvHOy, UHVuOWHG Ln D VcoUH line differential bigger than most would have expected. Although silla Maria has had a great year and will be the top seed in the District One Class AAA tournDPHnW, MounW wDV UHDGy IoU UHvHnJH DnG WhHy JoW LW, handily.
“I’m not really looking to VcoUH, buW I MuVW VhoW whHn I wDV oSHn,” LouLn VDLG. “EvHUyonH GLG D JUHDW Mob. Anyone who was open hit their shots. It really came Gown Wo DOO fivH SODyHUV on WhH flooU GoLnJ wHOO. I WhLnk our defense really kept us in the game. We didn’t forget whDW hDSSHnHG Ln WhH finDO ODVW yHDU.”
Both teams seemed a bit over-excited in early goLnJ, PLVVLnJ PDny VhoWV DnG turning the ball over. Mount depended on Louin heavily Ln WhDW fiUVW HLJhW PLnuWHV DV WhH MunLoU noWchHG HLJhW oI hHU WHDP’V 11 SoLnWV Ln WhH period. While the rest of the squad was getting its legs on WhH bLJ VWDJH, LouLn VWDyHG cool and produced enough to JLvH MounW D fivH-SoLnW OHDG heading into the second.
The second quarter was the turning point in the game. Although Louin carried the Magic in the oSHnLnJ SHULoG, VoPH oI hHU WHDPPDWHV MuPSHG LnWo the fray not long after. The combination of a couple of three-balls and three-point SODyV, DOonJ wLWh PoUH VuIIocDWLnJ GHIHnVH, Sowered Mount to a nine-point cushion going into halftime. Geatens exploded for VHvHn oI hHU 12 WoWDO SoLnWV Ln WhH SHULoG, LncOuGLnJ Wwo converted and-ones. The Magic blasted silla on the boDUGV, PDkLnJ OLIH PLVHUable in the paint.
Although silla opened WhH WhLUG wLWh D 7-2 Uun, they could not hold down Mount for long. Once DJDLn, WhH MDJLc JoW bLJ baskets from Geatens and senior Adrienne Cellucci to hold off any further dent in their lead. At the end oI WhH SHULoG, MounW wDV still up eight points. When WhH IouUWh TuDUWHU VWDUWHG, a couple of baskets put the Magic up by more than 10 DnG WhHy nHvHU OookHG back.
“Obviously we had to SODy HxWUHPHOy wHOO Wo wLn,” Miller said. “When they SUHVVuUHG uV, ouU JLUOV hDG the courage to drive to the basket with the lead rather WhDn MuVW VLW on WhH bDOO. BHcause we scored in that situDWLon, WhDW’V how wH uSSHG the score. I know the marJLn OookV bLJ, buW I WhouJhW boWh WHDPV SODyHG hDUG, buW wH MuVW SODyHG wLWh D OoW oI aggressiveness toward the bDVkHW.”
VLOOD VHHPHG D bLW WLUHG, whereas the Mount was alert and ready to pounce on any loose ball and get ouW LnWo WhH oSHn flooU. ThH Magic ran the Hurricanes uS DnG Gown WhH couUW, wearing them out to the point that a comeback was impossible.
“I think we deserved the wLn, wH wHUH UHDOOy SUHSDUHG for this game mentally and ShyVLcDOOy,” LouLn VDLG.
The Magic will go into the District One Clas AAAA tournament as AACA conference champions and the ovHUDOO No. 2 VHHG.