Weekly Feature



2018-02-07 / Sports

Mount St. Mary hoops wins five in a row

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter

The Mount St. Mary girls’ basketball team is now 18-3 and 6-1 in league after a quartet of league wins and a loss to a difficult non-conference foe.

The Thunder hosted Section V Our Lady of Mercy, and lost 74-52 on Jan. 23. Taking on one of the best teams in New York State, Mount St. Mary struggled to hit its shots. The Thunder fell behind early and climbed back slightly, but ultimately couldn’t generate enough offense to make a full comeback. Jill Fittry had a big game, scoring 17 points on five three-pointers.

“I thought we played pretty good, we just have to make our shots. We didn’t shoot well that day. We had a pretty good first period and a pretty good second,” Mount St. Mary coach Fran Snyder said. “They got away from us a little bit, we made a nice little comeback. There was just one girl we couldn’t stop. She was tremendous. She had 29 points, she shot 11 free throws. We just couldn’t stop her. We had a good first quarter and a good last quarter. We made some threes in that game. We just couldn’t make our lay-ups and stuff like that. Lois (Garlow) wasn’t hot in that game and she has to be hot for us to beat a good team.”

The Thunder then got four straight wins in league play, the toughest of which was a 64-61 victory over Nichols last Tuesday. The team was up 16 at one point in the second quarter, then 12 at half, then five in the third quarter, then the Lady Vikings took the lead. With 21 seconds left, Lois Garlow hit a three-pointer to put the team up by one. Mount St. Mary got a stop on the next trip down the court, and then hit two free throws to ice the game. The team didn’t expect the game to be as close as it was, but Nichols got to the line far more often than the Thunder did.

“That was a tough game,” Snyder said. “Their big girl had 30, she shot 21 free throws, nine of them were in the fourth quarter. Every time she touched the ball, they called a foul. They shot 30 free throws and we only had 14. It was lopsided. Usually better teams get fouled more, but it was not a well-officiated game. Luckily we escaped there with a win.”

The team also got double digit wins over Niagara Catholic (54-30), Buffalo Seminary (55-35) and Christian Central (66-53). Snyder was able to play his entire bench and start the game with all his seniors. It was a good opportunity to get everyone playing time before the stretch run and the postseason.

Monday, the Thunder got an impressive non-league win, 45-26, over North Tonawanda. They shut out the Lady Lumberjacks in the fourth quarter.

“In these last three games, we’ve played a lot of girls,” Snyder said. “There have been issues in our league with running the score up. We played everyone in those games. We started some of our seniors who don’t usually play in close games. It was 6-4 in the first quarter and 4-4 in the fourth quarter. We’re playing a lot of people.

“We started girls who don’t normally play against Buffalo Seminary,” Snyder said. “It was only like 10-5 in the first quarter then mixed starters in the second and third quarter and got away from them. We were up 47-33 after three. We played girls from the bench. We let everyone play; we keep everyone happy. We had four seniors and Lois in to start the game against Christian Central. She passed to all of them and three or four assists in the first quarter. Then she had 19 in the second and third quarter, and we scored 47 points.”

The Thunder will have perhaps their biggest game of the season Friday when they take on Sacred Heart. The team can pass the Sharks for second place with a win, but it won’t be easy. They’ll have to face a team that is good at pretty much every aspect of the game. It’s also likely a team that they’ll see in the postseason.

“The (Ryan) sisters are really good,” Snyder said. “The team is good on the fast break, they can run, they trap and press. They’ll be tough. They have some bruisers and then they have some other good ball players. They’ve had some pretty lopsided wins, but I think it will be a really good game. I think we match up really well with them. It will be interesting. I kind of zeroed in on this game, we have it circled on the calendar. We’ve been practicing to be ready for them. That will be for second place. They could beat us and O’Hara and end up in first. But we have to beat them to get to second, so that’s what we want to do.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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