Ranked the best in the nation with nine straight Central Coast Section championships and an unbeaten run that now stretches back 52 games, the Sacred Heart Cathedral Irish didn’t need to prove anything coming into Friday’s CCS Division III girls' basketball championship game against city rival St. Ignatius.
But they did anyway.
Even without key defense player and Pepperdine-bound senior Lauren Bell, who missed the game because of a knee injury, the Irish kept the Wildcats to single-digits in two key quarters.
“This is our team,” Irish coach Brian Harrigan said. “This group of young ladies believe in each other, so [without Bell] the next kid just steps up and gets it done.”
This Irish were rampant from the tip-off and paced a 10-0 lead in little over two minutes. The Wildcats didclaw back to a single-digit deficit early in the second, but Tierra Rogers (14 points) responded with a put-back, a jumper and an assist to set the tone for the rest of the game.
Seniors Maggy McCarthy and Erin Grady led St. Ignatius with 14 apiece.
“We had a great year,” said Wildcats coach Mike Mulkerrins, who now takes his team in to next weeks’s CAF North Region playoffs. “Hopefully we can win the next game or two. … If I saw [the Irish] again, I’d be real happy.”