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Flanders Keys St. John's Win

Her pass to Katie Watts Clinches Victory Over St. Thomas of Nahant in Playoffs

February 16, 2013- Girls Bantams vs. St. Thomas of Nahant

At the Swampscott Middle School, the St. John's Girls Bantams took on St. Thomas of Nahant in the Quarterfinals of the North Shore CYO Playoffs. Both teams knew each other well as they attended school together and had played together many times. As could be expected, the game came down to the closing seconds. Most games are decided by offensive or defensive plays, but this one was decided by a pass by Jillian Flanders in the closing minute that sealed a 31-29 win for St. John's. 

Both coaches made key strategy moves early. St. Thomas Coach Chuck DiGrande went with a box and one on Faye Parker with the guards also helping out to try to prevent an entry pass. At times, Parker was covered by 2-3 players. On the opposite side, St. John's Coach Jody Watts switched from her traditional man to man to a 2-3 zone. The goal was to prevent penetration and force St. Thomas to shoot from the outside. 

Off the opening tip, Katie Watts found a streaking Fiona Herring for the first basket of the game. St. Thomas answered with six straight points to surge ahead. St. John's continued to force the ball inside to Parker. She answered by sending the ball out to Olivia Matela on the wing to cut the lead to two at the 8:17 mark. Parker then started to use her height advantage. She scored on back to back putbacks to regain the lead with 6:38 to go. Nahant would answer with another six point run to open up a four point lead. With just 6 seconds left, Fiona Herring drained a jumper sending St. John's into the half trailing 12-10. 

Herring opened the second half with a basket to even the game just 14 seconds in. But from there, St. Thomas outscored St. John's 8-1 to stretch their lead to 20-13. Faye Parker broke the streak with a score off an offensive miss and then fed Jillian Flanders to make it 20-17. Fiona Herring then fed Parker down low to make it 20-19 with 6:33 on the clock. But St. Thomas wouldn't relinquish the lead. Olivia Matela's jumper kept St. John's within one at 22-21. With just over 2 minutes to go, St. Thomas led 27-23 and St. John's called a timeout. On the ensuing out of bounds play, Fiona Herring lobbed the ball to Parker for a layup to cut the lead to 27-25 with 2:10 left. After a defensive stop, Olivia Matela had her shot blocked, but Parker grabbed the miss and tied the game at 1:17. St. Thomas retook the lead and St. John's rushed down to tie. Katie Watts missed a jumper, but Faye Parker was there again, her putback evened the game at 29 with 44 seconds left. 

No one player can do it all. Faye Parker had certainly tried, but most teams rely on help from many different areas. You never know when a key play will provide the difference. After taking a time out, Nahant came out and pushed the ball down the floor. They weren't going to sit back for the last shot. As the shot went up, St. John's guard Katie Watts broke for the opposite end. She was hoping for a miss and a possible basket in transition. St. Thomas was focusing on preventing Parker(23 rebounds)from getting the rebound. The only problem with that was, they forgot about Jillian Flanders. Flanders snuck in and grabbed the rebound as it came off the rim. She turned and seeing Watts breaking for the basket, fired a baseball pass hitting her in stride just above the opposite key. Watts cruised in for a lay up to give St. John's their first lead since the 5:38 mark of the first half. Nahant took their last time out with 26 seconds on the clock and St. John's leading 31-29. 

St. Thomas came down and couldn't get a good look, St. John's caused a turnover and took control of the ball with 11 seconds left. Usually, the ball would be thrown in bounds, the player would be fouled, and the game would come down to a free throw. Not in this game. After the inbounds, two Nahant players charged at the ball forcing a bad pass and regaining the ball. With no timeouts left, St. Thomas drove the ball to the hoop hoping for a basket or at least a foul. With just a second left, the shot went up, but the hand of Faye Parker was there. Her 12th block of the game ended the season for St. Thomas as the St. John's crowd roared. An unbelievable finish to an unbelievable game! 

For St. John's, Faye Parker finished with a triple-double of 17 points, 23 rebounds, and 12 blocks. Fiona Herring chipped in with 6 points and 6 rebounds of her own. But the key to the win was the pass from Jillian Flanders(2 points, 5 rebounds, and an assist) to Katie Watts(2 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist). St. John's moves on to the Semi-Finals next Saturday.

St. John's Moves On- Boys Bantams vs. St. Ann's of Peabody

February 16, 2013

At the Swampscott Middle School, the Boys Bantams took on St. Ann's of Peabody. St. John's scored the first twelve points of the game and cruised to victory. 

Cole Cassidy scored the first points of the game to get St. John's on an early roll. From there, Graham Templeman took over. He scored on back to back passes from Cassidy and then on a drive to the basket to make it 12-0 with 5:21 left in the half. After St. Ann's broke the ice, Anthony Rakauskas made 1 of 2 free thows to make it 13-2. Jake Goldman scored on a drive and then fed Ben Turner to make it 17-2. He followed with a made free throw with 19 seconds left as St. John's had played a dominant first half of basketball and led 18-2. 

St. John's put the game away early in the second half. Two made free throws followed by another basket for Graham Templeman extended the lead to 18 points less than 3 minutes into the second half. By the time Justin Ratner made a jumper with 7:42 left, the lead had grown to 24 points and St. John's would ease their way to a 43-28 win. 

Jake Goldman(11 points) and Graham Templeman(10 points) each finished with double figures in scoring. Cole Cassidy added seven points and Ben Turner grabbed 13 rebounds in the win. St. John's takes on St. Rafael of Medford Thursday night.

St. John's Takes Rhodes to Victory- Girls Cadets vs. St. John's of Peabody

February 16, 2013

At the Swampscott Middle School, the Girls Cadets took on St. John's of Peabody in the opening round of the North Shore CYO Playoffs. Led by Kendall Rhodes' 15 points, St. John's of Swampscott defeated St. John's of Peabody for the third time this year. 

It took just 21 seconds for Elizabeth Weisse to give Swampscott the early lead. After matching baskets, Kendall Rhodes set the direction for the rest of the game. She fed Elizabeth Weisse and then answered a Peabody basket with back to back baskets of her own to make it 10-4 just four minutes into the game. Kasey Kennedy followed a made Peabody free throw with an offensive putback and Jaymie Caponigro answered a Peabody basket with two baskets of her own to make it 16-8. Rhodes followed with 5 straight points, the last off a steal and full court drive to make it 21-8 with 4:14 left in the half. Two late Hannah Leahy free throws made the score 27-13 at the half. 

Swampscott did not let up to start the second half. Rhodes and Jaymie Caponigro each had four early points to set the tone. Veronica Rizzo fed Claire Powell who scored on a drive to the basket to give Swampscott an 18 point lead with 6:24 left in the game. Peabody was never able to close the gap as Swampscott rolled to a 47-30 win. 

Kendall Rhodes led St. John's with 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals. Hannah Leahy added 10 points and 9 rebounds as St. John's moved on. They take on St. Rafael of Medford on Saturday. 

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