and Notes — Seton riding high behind Hadro and Spicer
Jim Crowley and Randy Jones
As the Seton girls head to Benedictine High School for the Final Eight
of the Virginia Independent Schools tournament senior Katy Hadro and eighth-grader
Jessica Spicer are turning in their A-games.
Hadro has been on a tear of late from 3-point range. Twice in last week’s
Delaney Athletic Conference tournament Hadro drained five 3-pointers. Against
Carlisle on Tuesday night, Hadro made another three treys in the 75-56 win.
The scoring outburst has pushed Hadro over the 400-point plateau for
the season. Currently the senior, who was named the DAC’s MVP last week,
has 426 points in 27 games – a 15.8 average.
Spicer has also been on fire. The 5-foot-4 point guard harrassed the
Chiefs own eighth-grader – Britnee Millner – into five first-half turnovers
to lead Seton’s defensive effort on Tuesday.
Going into the game, Seton coach Dick Pennefather said the only thing
he knew about Carlisle was that their point guard was the key.
“I don’t even know which one she is,” he said during warmups
during the game. “But I know she’s incredibly fast and a great penetrator.”
After the starting lineups were annouced, Pennefather and Spicer knew
that Millner was donning the No. 25 for the Chiefs.
The eighth-graders matched up immediately, and it was quickly apparant
who would win the battle.
Despite giving up three inches and a little bit of speed, Spicer stymied
Millner with her in-your-face defensive style. The result was a 20-10 lead
after one quarter.
“Jes did a great job containing their point guard,” Pennefather
said afterwards. “She wasn’t able to get into the middle too much and
that took [the Chiefs] out of their offense a little I think.”
Throw into that mix the rebounding of Elena Jones and Liz Planchak and
the Conquistadors seem to be peaking at the right time.
Jones had 27 boards in a win over Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy
in the DAC tournament, and finished with 52 rebounds in the three games.
Planchak had double-digit rebounds in two of the team’s last four games.
The win over Carlisle gave the Conquistadors their first trip to the
VIS Final Eight in quite some time.
In fact, Hadro had never won the first-round game in her three previous
“This is very exciting for us,” she said. “We just want
to stay focused and hopefully get into the Final Four.”
Spicer, who as a seventh-grader played in the VIS last year while Hadro
was sidelined with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, agreed.
“Our goal was to get past the first round,” she said. “We
wanted to go further than last year. And now we have.”
Pennefather said he didn’t know much about the team’s next opponent
– Saint Gertrude of Hugenot – other than they are the No. 4 seed and the
host of the tournament. Game time is set for 5:15 p.m. on Thursday.
He added that if Seton plays like it did in the first half against Carlisle,
any team will be beatable.
“That was a picture-perfect half,” he said. “If we play
at that level on Thursday, which we have the capability to do, we will be
able to compete with anyone.”
Seton led 39-17 at the half. The Conquistadors had just one turnover
and shot 15 of 38 from the field. Their defense held Carlisle to 6 of 30
from the field, and forced 10 turnovers.
Osbourn’s final swoop
Neither Gar-Field coach Andy Gray nor Osbourn coach Mike Dufrene thought
their Cardinal District semifinal last Friday night was pretty.
Both teams combined for 41 turnovers. Both teams clawed the entire game.
Those who were at Forest Park last Friday night knew the Indians’ 70-58
win wasn’t as clear as the margin indicated.
No. 1 Gar-Field swept No. 4 Osbourn in their regular season series.
And the Indians were favorites once again.
You could imagine Gar-Field’s surprise when Osbourn took a four-point
lead in the second quarter. Eagle senior Justin Campbell knocked down a
jump shot with 2:30 left in the first half, giving Osbourn a 25-21 lead.
It capped an 8-0 Osbourn run in a two-minute span.
Turnovers crushed Osbourn’s thoughts of upset, though. Gar-Field retalliated
with a 12-0 run to close out the half, thanks in large part to three Osbourn
turnovers in the last minute that led to six straight Indian points. Gar-Field
led 33-25 at halftime.
“Even after being down eight at halftime, I thought we had a real
chace at (winning) it,” Dufrene said. “We wanted to keep it close
and we did.”
Indeed, Osbourn kept it close in the third, narrowing Gar-Field’s lead
to four with 4:55 left in the quarter after a Brandon Ogleby basket. But
Gar-Field pulled away for good in the final stanza after Indians guard Q.J.
Melchior scored 11 fourth-quarter points.
The final minutes were the longest for the Eagles, who could do nothing
stop the inevitable.
The roller coaster ride was over, but Dufrene said he was proud of his
“We walked off the floor after 32 minutes with our heads up, becase
I thought we played hard,” Dufrene said. “We didn’t play smart
for 32 minutes, but we played hard for 32 minutes.”
Gar-Field’s coach paid the same respect.
“Osbourn’s kids played real hard tonight,” Gray said.
Osbourn’s Alan Oglesby score a game-high 19 points his final high school
game. The Eagles’ senior was selected as a member of the All-Cardinal District
Campbell scored 17 and sophomore Brandon Oglesby added nine for the
Eagles, who finished the year at 11-12.
Bank shot heartbreaker
Seton’s boys team lost its bid to win yet another DAC tournament championship
on Saturday when SVCA’s Stephen White drained a 25-foot 3-pointer off the
backboard as time expired in a 48-47 win.
Despite leading for most of the game, Seton’s poor free-throw shooting
and turnovers in the last minute doomed it.
SVCA’s Jon Cole was called for a walk under the basket with less than
15 seconds left in the game. With a precious few seconds remaining and a
three-point lead, Seton had a chance to ice the game.
All the Conquistadors needed to do was inbound the ball, where they
would most likely have been fouled.
However, Seton’s John O’Herron threw the ball past a cutting Pat VanderWoude
and the ball went out of bounds to SVCA.
The Conquistadors fouled Patriots guard Dustin Wheelock, but the junior
made both to cut the lead to one.
On Seton’s next possession, Matt Sulak was fouled, but made just 1 of
2 from the line to set up White’s heroics.
The loss also kept Seton (24-7) from making the VIS tourney. The Conquistadors
took second place in states a year ago.
VanderWoude said after the game it was painful, but there was nothing
to be ashamed of.
“We did everything we could do to put ourselves in a position to
win the game,” he said. “But [White] made a very tough shot. We
had him defended well, but he made it in the clutch.”