Bishop McNamara's Lady Mustangs top Paul VI for WCAC basketball crown
Feb 28, 2020
Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, won its first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference girls basketball championship since 2008 with an impressive 43-40 win versus rival Paul VI Catholic High School of Fairfax, Virginia, in a title game played Feb. 24 at American University's Bender Arena.
McNamara improved to 27-5 overall (19-2 WCAC); Paul VI dropped to 29-4 (18-3).
The Lady Mustangs went ahead 6-4 on a layup by Liatu King and never looked back.
At the conclusion of the first, second and third quarters - McNamara led 12-5, 20-16 and 32-23, respectively.
The Mustangs employed standout defense as they held Paul VI to 13 field goals during the 32-minute contest.
"We allowed them only one chance to the ball" stated senior King. McNamara out-rebounded their foes 28-26.
"Paul VI is a disciplined team, but we wanted to defend and we wanted to execute on the offensive end" stated seventh-year head coach Frank Oliver, a 1996 graduate of DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, where he was coached by Morgan Wootten, the Hall of Fame basketball coach who died Jan. 21 at the age of 88.
The Mustangs led by double digits on four occasions: 16-5, 31-21, 32-21 and 32-22.
Following 32-22, Paul VI outscored the Mustangs 18-11 to close out the contest, but it was too little too late.
"Our goal was to hold them to under 10 points each quarter. On offense, we did a good job of penetrating their defense. We wanted to put the ball on the floor, drive and get high percentage shots" stated Coach Oliver.
King noted, "We moved well and we communicated well tonight."
Co-WCAC Player of the Year Madison Scott said, "It feels great to win this championship -- it is something that makes the whole school proud."
McNamara dropped the 2019 final to St. John's, 66-51.
Regarding that loss, coach Oliver commented, "It left a bad taste in our mouth. Sometimes you have to go through trials and tribulations before you get to where you want to be. During my seven seasons here, we have improved every season."
McNamara was paced by: King (13 points/six rebounds), Scott (10/eight), Hope Evans (nine points), Aaliyah Pitts (four/four), Channa Hayes (three/four), Yonta Vaughn (two/four) and Taylor Gibson (two points).
The top four Paul VI scorers were Jaelyn Talley (12), Lee Volker (nine), Isabella Perkins (seven) and Faith Alston (six).
The two teams split their regular season contests - each winning at home.
In the semifinals, one day earlier, St. John's led McNamara 41-40 following a bucket by Taylor Napper. However, the Mustangs scored the final six points of the contest to prevail 46-41 and punch their ticket to the final.
Also in the semifinals, Paul VI defeated their arch-rivals O'Connell 45-29. The Panthers led 24-16 at half and then scored the first four buckets of the third quarter to take firm control and also punch their ticket to the final.
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