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Women’s Bookstore Basketball: Anthony Travels holds off comeback attempt

Matt Gamber | Monday, April 21, 2008

No. 2 Anthony Travel 21, The Firm 19

The Firm rallied back from a 19-3 deficit with a 6-0 run, but the comeback effort fell short as Saint Mary’s senior Alison Kessler scored Anthony Travel’s final two points on free throws to send her team to the title game.

Kessler, a Divison III basketball All-American and Saint Mary’s’ all-time leading scorer, showed a calming presence at the charity stripe with the game on the line and the rest of her teammates icy cold from the field.

“Our problem was that we slowed the ball down too much and got away from running our transition,” Kessler said. “That messed with the momentum we had going and that allowed them to get back in the game.”

Anthony Travel showcased that transition game with back-to-back fast-break lay-ups to make it 16-12, when it looked like they would cruise to an easy victory after extending an 11-8 halftime lead.

But the outside shooting of sophomore guard Lindsay McMahon coupled with a couple of put-backs from freshman forward Mary Forr kept The Firm in it, as its defense tightened and its shots began to fall.

And when guard Kaitlin Robinson grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast through Anthony Travel’s defense to cut The Firm’s deficit to 20-19, it appeared the momentum had made a definitive turn.

As soon as Kessler was fouled and headed to the line, though, The Firm looked resigned to defeat, as the sharpshooter nailed the final free throw to put the game on ice.

“The shots weren’t falling too well, and we were kind of pressing at the end,” Kessler said. “Next time, we just need to calm down and control the ball a little bit better.”

Supreme Court 21, 8th and Main 12

A trio of Saint Mary’s basketball players – Meghan Conaty and sisters Erin and Becki Newsom – led the Supreme Court to a blow-out victory and a berth in the championship game.

Conaty showed why she led the Belles this season with 93 assists, getting into the lane early and often and either dishing it off to her teammates or finishing the job herself.

“I’m not much of a shooter – never have been, never really wanted to be,” Conaty said. “[My game is] just distributing the ball and driving it in and looking for the open man.”

After the teams traded baskets to open the contest, the Supreme Court took an 11-7 edge into the break. When the teams came out for the second half, though, it was all Supreme Court.

“They definitely pulled away in the second half more so,” 8th and Main guard Sierre Smith said. “Maybe we got tired, but they were good defensively and our shots just weren’t falling.”

8th and Main had several two-on-one and three-on-two opportunities in the second half but just couldn’t finish, as several of its players expressed their frustration after missing open shots from the lane.

Though the Supreme Court didn’t exactly shoot the lights out either, Conaty’s play at the point allowed the 6-foot Newsom sisters to get some easy chances and advance to play Anthony Travel – the team led by their old teammate, Alison Kessler.

“We weren’t really hitting outside, so we were trying to drive and work the ball in and set more screens,” Conaty said. “We knew if we could move the ball inside the defense would have to work to stop us.

“It’ll be fun and interesting to finally play against Alison for a change.”