"We showed what type of team we are. We work hard, and nothing holds us back," sophomore Mary Gedaka said after the Rams fell, 58-47, to St. John Vianney in Wednesday night's South Jersey Non-Public A final.
Gedaka was the central piece of a furious effort by the Rams in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.
She scored seven points during a 15-0 run that cut the Lancers' lead to three with 3 minutes, 24 seconds left. St. John Vianney (24-3), the bracket's No. 2 seed and widely considered one of the deepest and most well-rounded teams in the state, pulled away in the end. But fifth-seeded Gloucester Catholic (26-4) proved a worthy opponent.
"I thought we handled their pressure. We just had a few untimely turnovers," Rams coach Lisa Gedaka said. "I'm proud of these kids. It's disappointing because I thought we could have won, but I'm proud of my team."
Mary Gedaka was a force throughout, carrying the Rams through stretches of cold outside shooting.
The 6-foot forward had a double-double with five minutes left in the first half. She ended the half with 15 points and 11 rebounds and finished the game with 27 points and 17 rebounds.
"They have a number of seniors on the team, and [Mary] Gedaka is phenomenal," Lancers coach Dawn Karpel said. "So I was expecting that they wouldn't go down without a fight."
Gloucester Catholic stood toe-to-toe with Vianney through just about the entire game with the exception of a spell in the third quarter, when hot outside shooting allowed the Lancers to pull away.
Despite a frustrating final game, the Rams were quick to point to how special this season was.
Gloucester Catholic won the South Jersey Invitational Basketball Tournament, earned a Tri-County Conference Diamond Division title, and made a second straight trip to the sectional final.
"I am so happy and grateful that I had the opportunity to play for Gloucester Catholic," senior guard Becky Pund said. "It's been amazing. . . . I'll never forget playing with this group of girls."
Gloucester Catholic 9 12 11 15 – 47
St. John Vianney 13 11 25 9 – 58
GC: Becky Pund 4, Kennedi Thompson 3, Maggie McIntyre 8, Mary Gedaka 27, Emily Lyons 5.
SJV: Kim Evans 15, Kelly Campbell 20, Emily Uribe 2, Jackie Gallagher 19, Zoe Pero 2.