Fontbonne Hall girls basketball coach Stephen Oliver describes himself as mystified about his team's Brooklyn/Queens Division II title win over Bishop Kearney.
"It was a wild game," Oliver said. "I need to see this on film. I'm not sure how we did it."
When he watches the film, Oliver will see a crazy comeback in the final 38 seconds as his team rallied from three down to win 39-38 on Saturday at Christ the King. It marked the first title for Oliver in his three years as the coach after falling short in the last Division II title games.
"For me, it was climbing over the mountain after losing two in a row," Oliver said. "For the kids, they couldn't be happier, it's something they wanted and something they have played for the last year or two. There's also the accomplishment of doing it in our well-balanced league."
Fontbonne Hall (15-5) trailed 38-35 with 38 seconds left when the ball went out of bounds off one of his players' foot. At that point, the coach started thinking that it wasn't meant for his team. He even had pulled guard Cindy Henderson, who had picked up a technical foul.
Bishop Kearney (14-11) missed a shot on offense and Fontbonne was able to push the ball and get fouled. After making the first and missing the second, the Bonnies corralled the offensive rebound and Henderson, who had been reinserted back into the game, drove to the lane and scored while being fouled.
Henderson missed the free throw but Michele Moran grabbed the rebound and was fouled. She made one of two free throws to give Fontbonne Hall a 39-38 lead. When Bishop Kearney tried to inbound the ball, Morgan intercepted the pass to seal the win for Fontbonne Hall. The Bonnies had lost to St. John's Prep and St. Saviour the last two seasons in the title game.
The Bonnies now advance to the Class B State playoffs where they will they top seed from Brooklyn/Queens.
"We had plenty of offensive rebounds that helped kept us alive," Oliver said. "I thought they had a chance to win it and we held on tight. It was back and forth the entire game and they had the momentum. We're a young team and we played really hard and right to the very end."