Central Catholic Raiders Girls Basketball '08-'09

Sat, Mar 07, 2009 06:30 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Lowell 11 13 7 17 48
Central Catholic 7 16 18 18 59
Eagle-Tribune/Paul Bilodeau, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Garden State: Central Catholic rolls into the state semis

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Saturday, March, 07 By Alan Siegel
Staff writer

BOSTON – As the ball rattled in, Katie Zenevitch pumped her fist and screamed.

The shot, a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer, might've seemed innocuous at the time. The Central Catholic junior, however, knew otherwise.

“It was a boost of confidence,” she said.

The trey cut the Lowell lead to a single point heading into the break, setting off a chain reaction that eventually resulted in a 59-48 Raiders win in the Division 1 North final. Third-seeded Central opened the third quarter on a 14-2 run, building a double-digit advantage that the top-seeded Red Raiders could never really recover from.

Zenevitch, who finished with a team-high 16 points and 18 rebounds, raised her voice a few decibel levels at intermission in hopes of firing up her teammates.

“She pumped them up,” said coach Sue Downer, whose club will face Brockton tomorrow in the state semifinals at TD Banknorth Garden.

They immediately followed Zenevitch’s lead.

“It was, ‘let’s just go with this,’ ” Downer said.

The Red Raiders certainly didn’t go down without a fight. Trailing 49-34 with 4:10 remaining in the game, Lowell went on a 9-0 run to slice the Central lead to six points. Still, the steely Raiders were unfazed.

Central shot an impressive 25 of 30 from the free throw line – Lowell went 13 of 18 – including several key makes late in the fourth quarter. Ignoring the crowd of more than 1,000 at Emmanuel College’s Yawkey Center, Zenevitch (10 of 12) and senior forward Gia O’Connor (11 of 12) were calm and collected at the stripe.

“I want the ball in their hands at the end of the game,” Downer said.

At this point, it should be no surprise that the Raiders came through in the clutch. After all, this was their third straight trip to the North final. Tomorrow’s trip to Boston will mark the second time in three years they’ve advanced to the Garden.

“Last year I would’ve been very nervous,” said the Boston College-bound Zenevitch, whose team beat Needham in the state semis two years ago. “But now I’m used to it.”

Sophomore forward Gabie Polce showed plenty of poise, singing the Star Spangled Banner before the game then chipping in 15 points. She hit a season-high three 3-pointers, which gave the Raiders a boost. On several occasions, Zenevitch found Polce wide open on the perimeter. The game plan, Downer said, went off without a hitch.

“All of it worked,” she said.

Still, everything seemed to come back to Zenevitch’s buzzer-beating trey. Until that point, she only had three points, all on free throws. The Raiders were struggling. They trailed by as much as eight in the second quarter, and weren’t doing much to slow down 6-footers Brianna (19 points) and Whitney Wilson (11 points).

At that point, something clicked. As a result, the Raiders are going back to the Garden.

Game Statistics:

Lowell (48): Whitney Wilson 3-5-11, Brianna Wilson 7-5-19, Kara Rogers 1-3-6, Tess Cigliano 3-0-7, Maggie Wallace 2-0-5, Chelsey Luis 0-0-0, Megan Barry, Molly Desmond 0-0-0, Diamond Jones 0-0-0, Jordan Bernier 0-0-0, Bridgette Ravagli 0-0-0. Totals 16-13-48

Central Catholic (59): Katie Zenevitch 2-10-16, Melissa Miller 3-0-6, Gabie Polce 4-4-15, Kelley Mikus 1-0-2, Gia O'Connor 2-11-15, Katie Quinlan 0-0-0, Brianna Martin 0-0-0, Ashley Evangelista 2-0-5, Rachel Hebert 0-0-0, Maura Coburn 0-0-0, Bianca Sacco 0-0-0. Totals 12-25-59

3-pointers: L — Rogers, Wallace, Cigliano; CC — Polce 3, Zenevitch 2, Evangelista

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