Bishop Ireton earned its first conference win of the season with a scrappy 37-36 victory at Bishop McNamara Friday night. The win was the Cardinals second in as many visits, with the redbirds upsetting the Mustangs in the first round of the WCAC championship tournament last year in Forestville.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 12-6 first quarter lead, on tough defense and shared scoring. Ireton used 9-4 run midway through the second period to extend the lead to 21-16 into the intermission.
Camille Weber, Julia O’Brien, then more Weber scored on consecutive possessions to give Ireton a 11-point advantage at 27-16. Following a McNamara timeout, the Mustangs threw their own 7-0 run on the visitors to close the deficit to 27-23. Ireton countered with a pair of field goals and ended the third period with a 31-25 lead.
O’Brien opened the final period with a field goal to push Ireton to 33-25, but a long cold streak fell on the Cardinals and McNamara doggedly whittled away at the lead, drawing to 33-32 in the late stages of the ballgame. While the cardinal clad visitors couldn’t “buy” a basket in the game’s waning stages, they drew fouls with Weber and O’Brien each making the front end of one-and-one’s as Ireton limped up to the 37 marker and hung on. The Mustangs couldn’t convert on the charity stripe and got a final field goal to close within 37-36. Ireton failed to convert in the game’s final seconds and a desparate last second shot missed the mark and with it the home team’s chance for a win.
Camille Weber led Ireton with 10 points, O’Brien scored 8, Celis-Copelotti had 7, while Taylor Gallahan and Alex Stipano chipped in 4 each.
The victory improved Ireton to 9-8, 1-7 in conference play with a 3:30pm date at Bishop OConnell on Sunday. A scheduled non conference tilt with Fredericksburg Christian was postponed when the flu and injuries prevented FCA from having a squad available to play on Saturday. No date has been announced for a reschedule of the game.