St. Mary's wins CHSAA girls basketball AA crown
St. Mary’s girls basketball last claimed a Catholic state title back in 1994 when they defeated St. Francis Prep to secure their second consecutive Catholic State Class B Championship. After 28 years, the Gaels managed to quench the thirst of a long drought.
St. Mary’s defeated Monsignor Scanlan 59-42, on Sunday afternoon at Hofstra to become CHSAA State Class AA champions. Taryn Barbot had a spectacular all-around game, finishing the game with 19 points, 18 rebounds, and six assists. Alisa Blalock scored 13 points for the Gaels and Tara Murray scored 12 points.
"This was a fun group, a great group of girls to be around," St. Mary’s coach Kevin White said. "They worked really hard, and they deserved what they got today."
The Gaels were active on defense from the tip. They forced three jump balls within the first four minutes of the game and six turnovers in the first quarter. They went on an 8-0 run late in the first quarter to take a 16-8 lead. The run was punctuated by a three-quarter court one handed pass by Taryn Barbot to her sister Taylor Barbot, who converted a nice reverse layup. The Gaels led 18-13 after the first quarter.
"It’s great to play alongside my sister," Taryn Barbot said. "We always know where the other is on the court and when to get the other the ball.
In the second quarter Taryn Barbot continued to dominate the glass. She grabbed six rebounds in the quarter, giving her 11 for the first half. The Gaels extended their lead to 11 going into the break.
In the third quarter the defense stepped things up a notch, holding Monsignor Scanlon to just six points. The Gaels held their opponent scoreless for a five-minute stretch in the quarter thanks to active hands and an ability to play the passing lanes. That defense led to numerous transition baskets as the Gaels gained a 45-26 lead heading into the fourth and effectively put the game away.
"The approach definitely differed since we aren’t so familiar with this team," Blalock said. "We watched a lot of film and we tried to stop their big."
Blalock has been a driving force all season long for St. Mary’s (21-3). Her contributions in her senior year helped her team achieve the first "AA" state title by any team in St. Mary’s history.
"We made history and it’s really exciting," Blalock said. "I’m really going to miss this team; our bond couldn’t have been any stronger."