SCARBOROUGH – In the fourth quarter, Brooke Flaherty could feel the game slipping away. Memories of Scarborough’s heartbreaking come-from-behind victory over Cheverus in the regional tournament last season began to flash through her mind.
“We were not letting that happen again,” Flaherty said. “We were not.”
Flaherty scored nine of her 23 points in three overtimes to lead Cheverus to a 58-57 victory over Scarborough in a matchup of unbeaten SMAA girls’ basketball teams Tuesday night at Alumni Gymnasium.
“Words can’t describe what Brooke did for us tonight,” Cheverus Coach Richie Ashley said.
“The whole team, they had unbelievable composure. It came down to that senior leadership. The girls were challenged tonight and they answered the challenge.”
Cheverus, which entered the fourth quarter leading 33-25, had all it could handle. The Red Storm surged for 19 points — including 12 of 14 free throws — to take a 44-43 lead with 1:19 to play.
“That’s when the seniors stepped in,” Ashley said. “The seniors remembered that. They took it upon themselves to not let that happen again.”
Mikayla Mayberry hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1:01 left to send the game to overtime.
“Overtime is four minutes,” Flaherty said. “I just told the girls it’s four minutes. It’s not one basket, it’s a lot of teamwork. The defense was phenomenal.”
Each team scored four points in the first overtime, with Courtney Alofs and Ashley Briggs perfect from the line for Scarborough, and Kylie Libby hitting a shot from the post and Flaherty adding two free throws with 47.9 seconds left to send it to a second overtime, tied at 48.
Mary Redmond hit a layup and a 3-pointer for Scarborough, and Briggs hit 1 of 2 from the line to put Scarborough ahead, but Flaherty scored six straight from the field to make it 54-54 after two overtimes.
Sam Sparda scored her only points 30 seconds into the third overtime and Maria Philbrick hit a free throw with 2:08 left for a 57-54 lead. Victoria Nappi got free for a 3-pointer with about 30 seconds left to tie it.
Then Flaherty went to the line one last time, with 6.1 seconds left. She hit the front end of a 1-and-1 for the one-point lead, 58-57, and the Stags held on.
Georgia Ford hit three 3-pointers for nine points and had four rebounds for the Stags (9-0). Alisha Starbird had seven points. Victoria Nappi and Mayberry each added six points.
Taylor LeBorgne led the Red Storm (8-1) with 16 points and four rebounds. Redmond had 11 points, six rebounds and four steals for Scarborough, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the Western Class A Heal point standings. Briggs, a sophomore reserve, scored 10 points, including 3 of 4 free throws in overtime.
“I told the girls I’m extremely proud of the effort they gave, down by 10 at one point, fought back to force three overtimes,” Scarborough Coach Ron Cote said. “It’s a tough game to lose. It was a real test for us, and hopefully we learn from it and keep improving.”