Gloucester Catholic wins girls' South Jersey Invitational Tournament

Gloucester Catholic's Becky Pund (top) is fouled as she drives between Camden Catholic's Michelle Obasi (33) and Julia Braungart in the third quarter.
Gloucester Catholic's Becky Pund (top) is fouled as she drives between Camden Catholic's Michelle Obasi (33) and Julia Braungart in the third quarter. (DAVID M WARREN / Staff)
Posted: February 18, 2014

Early in the second quarter, Gloucester Catholic's Maggie McIntyre - all 4-feet, 11 inches of her - launched a three-pointer like a shot put from five feet beyond the arc.

As the shot went up, McIntyre went down, bulled over by a Camden Catholic defender.

McIntyre slid backward. The ball, somehow, floated perfectly through net - and McIntyre was awarded a foul shot for her effort.

There are games when great shooters simply can't miss. And McIntyre was just one of several players who had such a game for Gloucester Catholic in its 61-47 win over Camden Catholic in the championship game of the South Jersey Invitational basketball tournament in front of a packed house Sunday at Eastern.

This was Gloucester Catholic as advertised in the preseason: impossibly strong outside shooting, dominant post play, and tough defense.

"The first five minutes of the game are the most important, and everybody was knocking down shots, that just gave us confidence and momentum, and we took it from there," said McIntyre, whose team lost to Camden Catholic (17-3) by two points on Jan. 22. "This game is big for us, it gets us ready for states. We feel like we're getting ready to peak."

Gloucester Catholic (20-3) opened the game hitting its first three shots, all three-pointers (two by Emily Lyons, one by Becky Pund) to take a 9-0 lead. It set the tone for a game in which the Rams netted 6 of 8 first-half threes and 9 of 14 overall.

Gloucester Catholic never trailed and led by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter.

"It's important to come out in games like this and take control, and I thought we did," said Pund, a senior guard who led all scorers with 19 points and took home tournament most valuable player honors. "I would say revenge wasn't really a factor for us in this game. . . . It's just such a great honor to win this tournament."

With Pund, McIntyre (15 points), and Lyons (eight points) on fire from outside, forward Mary Gedaka had her way in the paint. The sophomore finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 blocks.

The inside-outside combination proved just about impossible to defend.

Gedaka couldn't be guarded one-on-one. And when she was doubled, she dished the ball to a teammate waiting to drain a wide-open jumper.

"Camden Catholic is a terrific team, so we needed to shoot the ball well, and we did," said Gloucester Catholic coach Lisa Gedaka. "And by hitting those outside shots, it opened things up and allowed us to flow a little bit better."

Added Camden Catholic coach Chris Palladino: "We came out a little flat and [Gloucester Catholic] played great - they couldn't miss. . . . They were just better than us today."

Gloucester Catholic 16 20 15 10 - 61

Camden Catholic 8 14 14 11 - 47

GC: Maggie McIntyre 15, Mary Gedaka 15, Kennedi Thompson 4, Becky Pund 19, Emily Lyons 8.

CC: Cara Hardy 4, Cara Racobaldo 16, Julia Braungart 5, Ariel Robinson 3, Sierra Taylor 4, Michelle Obasi 4, Taiah Thornton 9, Olivia Crenny 2.


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