by Tom Utescher
In the Lou Cappiella Summer Basketball League, the Springside Lions saved their best performance for last, finishing up the regular season schedule last week with a dramatic 33-30 win over the former league leader, St. Hubert’s High School. The Bambies had been undefeated prior to a July 20 loss to Mount St. Joseph Academy.
Springside achieved good backcourt/frontcourt balance on offense, as junior guards Gianna Pownall and Maddi Hinchey finished up with 13 and four points, respectively, while senior forwards Michelle Boggs and Elana Roadcloud scored 11 and four. Senior guard Aly Markey completed Springside’s total with a free throw.
Facing St. Hubert’s, Springside’s Hinchey (a Norwood Fontbonne Academy alum) found herself playing against her cousin Charlotte Kucowski, a forward who is also going into the 11th grade and also ended up with four points in last week’s summer league square-off. The Bambies, who received contributions from numerous scorers and outnumbered Springside 10 to six, were led by a six-point effort from Eireann Anastasi, a senior guard who was missing when her team lost to Mount St. Joe’s a week earlier.
Last week’s bout was characterized by aggressive defense and the scoreboard ticked over slowly in the opening stages, with Springside inching ahead 8-4 by the middle of the first half. St. Hubert’s tied it at 8-8 and then 10-10, and the tough “D” had netted Springside’s Pownall and Roadcloud three personal fouls apiece. Late in the half Pownall had two fouls committed against her by the Bambies, and she made three of four free throws to put the Lions up 13-10 at the interlude.
When the action resumed Boggs and Roadcloud kept the Lions in front, but they only led 20-18 when St. Hubert’s called time-out with 9:31 remaining in the game. The Bambies caught up at 24-all as the clock slipped under four minutes, and they went ahead 26-25 with 2:10 to go, scoring a lay-up off of a steal.
After the Lions’ Boggs tied it at 26-all on a free throw, she blocked a St. Hubert’s lay-up attempt at the other end. Both ballclubs were feeling the pressure, as Springside missed a transition lay-up, and the Bambies turned the ball back over on a backcourt violation with a minute left to play.
Pownall came on strong down the stretch, starting with a 15-foot jumper from the right wing. After Roadcloud’s fifth foul yielded two St. Hubert’s free throws to make it 28-28, Pownall went to the line herself and put the Lions up by two points once more. She stole the ball back for Springside, and this led to Hinchey hitting a pair of foul shots with 15 seconds on the clock, making it 32-28.
With a four-point lead, the Lions put up only token resistance as the Bambies went down the court for a lay-up. Springside got the ball back in Pownall’s hands and she was fouled with three seconds remaining. She made the second of her two free throws, and the Bambies only had time to desperately heave the ball at the far basket.