Mount St. Joseph’s Academy was just too tough. There’s really no way of getting around that.
Although Villa Maria Academy enjoyed its moments here and there, the Hurricanes were unable to solve a balanced attack by the Magic, and the Mount rolled to a hard-fought, 57-41 Catholic Academies League championship victory.
“This is great,” said junior Alex Louin. “We wanted this really bad.”
Louin and her teammates recalled the feeling of blowing a double-figure lead and losing to Villa in last year’s finals.
When the Magic (23-2) took the court at Philadelphia University, one could sense from the warm-up that they meant business. Smiles were met with high fives, but not a smidgen of arrogance appeared in their collective countenance. This was all business.
“We have a lot of respect for Villa,” Louin said. “Our goal was to play hard the entire way and not take any plays off.”
Louin had no problem taking on the role of leader. She did that early and often to the tune of 18 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Her presence up and down the floor stymied the Hurricanes (19-5), who to their credit scratched and clawed against their determined opponents until a dominant fourth quarter sealed the deal.
Louin was the main catalyst in that cinching final stanza. She scored 10 points and added several clutch rebounds, frustrating Villa Maria time and again.
The Hurricanes stayed within 27-18 at halftime and a very manageable 39-31 after three quarters mostly behind the scoring of senior Lisa Mirarchi and junior Jackie Carlin, both of whom netted 11 points.
For the Mount, Meg Geatens contributed 12 points, Carly Monzo added 10, and Adrienne Cellucci chipped in eight more.
“That was a great win,” Geatens said. “They’re a very good team and they fought hard. We were very focused on winning this game. It meant a lot to us.”