Shanahan girls hold off Coatesville, 51-49

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ChesMont powerhouses leave it until late at CASH on Thursday night

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times

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Nafisa Saunders drives to the hoop in the second quarter.

CALN – In a clash of two of the ChesMont’s strongest teams, the Bishop Shanahan girls basketball team eked out a 51-49 victory at Coatesville on Thursday night.

In what would become the night’s theme, Shanahan jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but Coatesville stuck around, keeping the game just within reach and eventually tied the game at 7-7 halfway through the opening quarter.

Shanahan’s quick passing on offense negated the home team’s high energy defense, resulting in an 18-12 lead at the end of the first. Shanahan junior Ciara Forde, who had 17 points on the night, hit a couple of three pointers and would turn out to be her team’s clutch player in the first and last periods.

On the back of a three point play by Zada Bookman and a hard drive by Nafisa Saunders, Coatesville looked to grab momentum back, tying the game early in the second. But Shanahan’s perimeter play in the first quarter opened up the lane in the second. Combined with Coatesville’s 2/10 shooting from the stripe in the quarter, the visitors took a 28-24 lead into the half.

Shanahan continued with the quick offense and eventually jumped out to a 38-30 lead late in the third quarter.

But Coatesville once again clawed its way back. Again, Bookman provided the key plays, taking steals the length of the court and laying in just before and after the third intermission. The conversions cut Shanahan’s lead to just one point, and Coatesville took its biggest lead of the night halfway through the final quarter, going up 42-39.

Shanahan’s Forde made a couple of big shots to keep her team in it, and junior Grace Phillips found success driving, including a 3-point play that put the Eagles up 48-47 late. The teams exchanged baskets, eventually forcing Coatesville to foul with less than a minute left. A Forde free throw made it 51-49 with 19 seconds left.

Coatesville got two more chances, but a double dribble ended one, and a missed jumper from the top of the key ended the contest with Shanahan’s narrow lead preserved.

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