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The Patrick School's Allyah Powell (3), who had big night from the perimeter, fires up a 3-pointer against Westfield during Friday night's exciting Union County Tournament championship as TPS nipped Blue Devils, 45-43. (Photos by Gene Nann-nannphoto)
Westfield's outstanding Lillian Scott (20), who had 12 points, puts up a jumper as Jacqueline Knapp (2) looks on during Friday night's Union County Tournament final.
Westfield head coach Liz McKeon asks anyone who will listen for an explanation
The Patrick School coaches intently take in the action on the court vs. Westfield
The Patrick School captured its first Union County Girls Basketball championship
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Westfield , which knocked off top-seeded and defending champion Roselle Catholic in the semifinals and in the process became the first in-state team to beat the Lions this season, had the game’s biggest lead of eight points at 32-24 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
“Coach ( Patrick School head man Aaron Gratch) called a timeout and we then had to really play defense,” said Patrick School starter Amani Williams, who along with teammate Allyah Powell – who connected on four 3-pointers – paced the Celtics and all players in scoring with 14 points. “Defense won this game. We had to box out and rebound.”
The Patrick School immediately came right back after falling behind by eight points, producing a 9-0 run to take its second lead at 33-32.
Earlier in the third quarter, Williams banked in a shot from the lane to give the Celtics their first lead at 22-20. The game was tied at 20-20 at intermission, with Westfield never trailing in the first 16 minutes.
It was also an outside shot by Williams early in the fourth quarter that gave the Patrick School the lead for good at 37-36.
“We knew Westfield was going to be tough after they beat Roselle Catholic,” Williams said. “They really played great.
“It feels great to be part of history.”
Westfield could have caved after falling behind for the second time by five points in the fourth quarter at 45-40 with less than a minute to play. However, a fadeaway 3-point basket from the right side scored by sophomore Hannah Liddy put the Blue Devils right back in the game at 45-43. Then Westfield got a turnover when the Celtics stepped on the line, giving the Blue Devils one last opportunity with 30.1 seconds left.
Scott passed to Liddy, who passed to Amalia Montes, who passed the ball back to Scott. Montes then took the next pass and quickly got the ball to center Shannon Devitt, who passed back to Liddy.
Liddy then took a shot from the right side that wouldn’t go, but Devitt was there to grab the rebound and get the ball to Knapp.
Knapp’s shot was dead on, as accurate as could be, but fell just a little short.
Westfield only produced three 3-pointers, with Knapp hitting the first one in the third quarter. Liddy had the other two.
“When we were ahead by eight we knew they were going to come back,” McKeon said. “We didn’t let up, they just came back.
“We just needed to calm down and run our offense and run more plays in the second half, which we did.”
NOTES: Westfield almost beat two great teams - Roselle Catholic and the Patrick School - after losing to both twice in two tries in league play. The Blue Devils were seeking their second UCT crown and first since 2008.
40TH ANNUAL GIRLS’ BASKETBALL UCT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
4-Westfield (15-8) 12 8 14 9 – 43
2-Patrick School (20-6) 8 12 15 10 – 45
4-WESTFIELD BLUE DEVILS (43):
32-Hannah Liddy, sophomore, 1-2-0-8
23-Amalia Montes, junior, 1-0-2-4
20-Lillian Scott, senior, 6-0-0-12
2-Jacqueline Knapp, senior, 3-1-1-10
21-Shannon Devitt, sophomore, 2-0-3-7
22-Oliva Luzzi, sophomore, 1-0-0-2
Starters: Liddy, Montes,
Scott, Knapp, Devitt.
2-PATRICK SCHOOL CELTICS (45):
21-Qadashah Hoppie, sophomore, 3-0-2-8
11-Amani Williams, junior, 5-0-4-14
3-Allyah Powell, sophomore, 1-4-0-14
10-Shyasia Pridgen, senior, 1-0-2-4
33-Raven Farley-Clark, junior, 1-0-3-5
13-Shamachya Duncan, junior, 0-0-0-0
23-Zhane Irby, senior, 0-0-0-0
Starters: Hoppie, Duncan,
Pridgen, Williams, Irby.
Westfield's Jacqueline Knapp (2), who had 10 points, puts up a shot during the UCT final
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