In front of a massive, orange crowd on Friday night, the Varsity Girls took on Christ Chapel Academy for the second game of the triple-header. Tina Leary led the Wolves in scoring with 31 points as JP marched to a solid victory.
The match started off fast as JP scored 15 points in the first quarter while shutting out CCA defensively. Leary drained the first 9, and Hannah McNulty, Gabrielle Gordon, and Lily Thongsavanh each had baskets of their own to give JP the early advantage.
A few minutes into the second quarter, freshman Katie Grandinetti snatched the ball and broke towards the basket, finishing the play with a nifty layup that put the score at 21-4. A short while later, JP’s defense held strong when Madison Judge blocked a Christ Chapel shot, maintaining the 17-point lead. CCA added a few points before the half, but JP led 23-10 at the break.
Tina Leary continued her solid game at the start of the second half, knocking down a few shots early, including a breakaway layup at the six minute mark giving the Wolves a 29-13 edge. Grandinetti and Ashley Dominguez provided additional baskets for JP before Leary tacked on two more fast-break scores at the end of the quarter.
Christ Chapel started climbing back in the game during the fourth, but the closest the contest became was 43-34 with just over three minutes remaining. At that point, Christ Chapel was threatening to score again when they lost control of the ball. It was spinning out of bounds when it unfortunately hit the referee right in the midsection, bouncing directly back into the hands of a CCA player. “I hit myself in the face,” Tina said of the ridiculously unlucky break, “like, get out of the way! But they’re doing their best, I guess.”
Luckily, JP was able to put a halt to the rally when they regained possession and dished it to none other than Leary, who drove toward the rim and let go on a desperation layup in a sea of hacking defenders. The shot bounced around a bit before sinking through, the foul assessed. She sunk the free throw, and two minutes later completed the same layup +1 play. Unbelievable. Describing her emotions at that juncture, Tina said, “just playing for Sarah and the team was amazing!”
Gabrielle Gordon scored the final bucket for the Wolves, and JP won the game 55-37. And although she was called for a foul on the play, Mary Dobis deserves credit for an overpowering block she imposed on a poor soul during the fourth quarter.
There’s no official announcement yet, but scuttlebutt says that Tina’s 31 points are a school record. Regardless, her performance was nothing short of remarkable!
Great job ladies, it was a pleasure cheering you on in that electric atmosphere!