Big third period lifts O'Hara to win

Cardinal O'Hara's Shanice Johnson (right) blocks a shot by Archbishop Wood's Maddie Tamburini.
Cardinal O'Hara's Shanice Johnson (right) blocks a shot by Archbishop Wood's Maddie Tamburini. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 26, 2013

Libby Lannon had a one-track mind all week: foul shots, foul shots, foul shots.

After missing crucial free throws in Cardinal O'Hara's one-point loss to Neumann-Goretti, the senior guard relentlessly practiced shooting from the stripe leading up to her squad's showdown Friday night with Archbishop Wood.

In what was a serendipitous occurrence, Lannon found herself at the line, shooting two, with a little more than two minutes remaining and her team up by four. She converted both, giving the Lions some needed cushion as they defeated the Vikings, 30-27, in a Catholic League game.

"I knew that they [foul shots] were important, but I had more confidence going into it," Lannon said. "You have to have confidence against a team like this."

It was the first Catholic League loss for the Vikings (10-7 overall, 7-1 league), ranked second in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, and only their second defeat against a Pennsylvania opponent all season.

Five of the Vikings' seven losses this season have come against out-of-state teams. The other Pennsylvania team that beat the Vikings is hardly local, either - Mount Lebanon from the Pittsburgh area.

In an uneven game in which tensions ran high from the start, the No. 5 Lions (11-5, 6-1) outscored the Vikings, 16-4, in the third quarter, thanks to a monster performance by Shanice Johnson.

The senior forward scored nine of her 11 points in that period. Johnson corralled rebounds on the offensive end and muscled in putbacks.

"We came out with an edge," Lannon said. "We usually get pushed around, but we were doing the pushing; we were fighting back."

The last time these two teams had met was in the Catholic League semifinals a season ago, and Wood beat the Lions, who up to that point had been undefeated in league play.

"They came in and beat us pretty bad last year, so we knew we had to come out and show that we learned from that," Lannon said.

The Lions, winners of seven of their last eight, did just that.

Archbishop Wood 6 9 4 8 - 27

Cardinal O'Hara 8 2 16 4 - 30

AW: Aubree Brown 10, Madison Tamburini 7, Jess Kaminski 4, Colleen Young 3, Haley Scullion 2, Jackie Pierson 1.

CO: Shanice Johnson 11, Libby Lannon 8, Mia Farmer 4, Rachel Guy 3, Mackenzie Rule 2, Lisa Mintzer 2.


Contact Kate Harman

at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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