By Jeremy Balan
A 10-0 run in the fourth quarter nearly erased what was a 16-point deficit, but it wasn’t enough for Sacred Heart Cathedral to overcome a poor second-quarter shooting performance in a 63-57 loss to visiting Campolindo of Moraga in the second round of the CIF Division III state championship girls basketball tournament on Thursday.
The Irish (16-13) run cut the Campolindo lead to 58-55 with 2:22 remaining in the fourth, but the Cougars (25-6) responded with four straight points of their own to hold off the comeback bid.
“We were in a hurry to try to get back, and we finally set in, getting stops and making some shots,” said Sacred Heart head coach Mike Carey. “Momentum kicked in, with the crowd and the adrenaline, but when we needed stops in the last 30 seconds, we didn’t get it.”
Early on, it appeared the Irish were on their way to victory, as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led at 19-18 after the first quarter behind three three-pointers.
While the late rally nearly saved Sacred Heart, it was a six-point second quarter that was ultimately the difference, where the Irish missed their first 15 shots from the floor in the quarter, including six three-pointers.
“We were settling [for jump shots],” Carey said. “We got to the basket at the beginning of the game. At this stage, teams aren’t going to go away and everybody is a good team.”
Fueling the late run were Sacred Heart seniors Geena Giovannetti and T.J. Miller, who led the way with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Playing in their final high school game, the pair combined for 16 points in the second half.
“The girls showed a lot of heart and the seniors didn’t give up. They kept battling,” Carey said. “Geena took over in the third quarter and tried to lead us at both ends, then T.J. hit some shots. That’s what you need from your seniors, because it’s do-or-die for them.”
Campolindo was led by sophomore Laura Hickey’s 12 points, and advances to the Northern California semifinals on Saturday, where it will meet Sacramento.
“I never though this was a done deal, because road wins in NorCals, they don’t come easy,” said Campolindo head coach Clay Kallam. “It’s a big win for us and a big win for our league. We’re a suburban league, a public high school, playing against private schools that can draw from a large area, and for us to do this well is something.”
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Geena Giovannetti – 14
T.J. Miller – 11
Briannah Smith – 8
Geanna Summers-Luaulu – 6
Ann Marie Sequeira – 6
Laura Hickey – 12
Chloe Hull – 10
Annelise Ito – 9
Amanda Forshay – 8
Annie Ward – 7