St. Mary's turns up defense to get past White Plains
LATHAM, N.Y. — The St. Mary’s players gathered alongside the stands at Shaker High after finishing their Federation Class AA semifinal. Their coach had something to say.
“This is a great opportunity to be playing the last game of the year for the state championship,” Kevin White said.
This girls basketball team had some mishaps in the sweaty last two minutes and didn’t score. But it also didn’t allow any points.
The CHSAA champion Gaels emerged with a 53-50 victory over White Plains on Saturday.
“A win’s a win,” White said. “Sometimes over the course of the year, you need a little bit of luck to get to where you have to get to.”
So it will be an all-Long Island final here at 2 p.m. Sunday — St. Mary’s (26-4) vs. Long Island Lutheran (21-2).
“[This tournament] means a lot because this is the first time in all of the seniors’ high school careers that this has happened, the Federation tournament,” said senior point guard Taylor Barbot, who drove for a 53-48 lead with 2:51 left and finished with nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists. “So we’re very excited.”
Taryn Barbot, Taylor’s twin sister, contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds. Kayla Solomon added 14 points. Capri Demara and Ineivi Plata scored 12 apiece for White Plains.
The Tigers weren’t the NYSPHSAA AA champions. Webster Schroeder beat them in the final, but then chose to end its season.
So White Plains played on. It had opportunities against St. Mary’s.
Demara couldn’t connect on a long three for the tie. After a timeout, though, the Gaels threw away the inbounds pass — 9.1 seconds left. White said the play was run incorrectly or it would’ve been a layup.
So the Tigers received another chance. But the St. Mary’s defense forced a turnover on a bad pass.
“It was just execution at the end of the game,” White said of the offense. “We work on situations all the time. I don’t know if it was the moment, the scene, but I wasn’t happy with the way [we executed].”
The Gaels led 30-25 at halftime, and then they were up at 47-35 in the final minute of the third. But when Plata hit two free throws, the advantage was down to 53-50 with 2:25 remaining.
“We just stopped hitting shots,” Taylor Barbot said, “but at the end, we still got stops, which was good.”