It was a trend that has become all too familiar in recent years and seemed destined to continue Friday night. When a 15-point lead swelled to 19 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, it appeared that the St. Mary's girls basketball team was once again set to be victimized by St. John the Baptist.
But Jessica Mattone showed that no lead is insurmountable and that trends last only so long as St. Mary's came from behind to win, 68-63, in a CHSAA game.
Trailing 49-30 late in the third quarter, Mattone scored 10 of her 11 points to fuel an 18-0 run to end the quarter and pull St. Mary's to within one heading into the fourth.
With six minutes to go in the fourth, Sarah Kluth made one of her 10 steals and fed Shannon Flynn for a layup, giving St. Mary's its first lead of the game at 54-53. The Gaels preserved the win at the free-throw line, sinking six in the final 30 seconds.
St. Mary's outscored St. John the Baptist 43-23 in the second half to overcome a 40-25 halftime deficit. Flynn and Maddy Jankowski each scored 20 points as St. Mary's improved to 7-4.
Anastasia Williams had 15 points to lead St. John the Baptist (8-3).
"These kids didn't quit," St. Mary's coach Tom Flynn said. "They fought back, holding Baptist to 23 second-half points with pressure defense and tenaciousness. I've been here for six years and we have never beat St. John the Baptist until tonight."