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Lourdes’ Blitzkrieg In OT Beats Arlington, Sends Warriors To Finals

By Tom Seipp
Special to HVSR

WHITE PLAINS – After 32 grueling minutes of nip-and-tuck high school girls basketball, on the grandest stage in the area, with a berth in the Section 1, Class AA championship on the line, it was shocking how quickly it ended.

Third-seeded Our Lady of Lourdes dominated No. 2 Arlington in the four-minute overtime, scoring the first 14 points of the extra session and beating the Admirals, 66-54, in the sectional semifinals at the Westchester County Center on Thursday afternoon.

The Warriors will play top-seeded Ursuline, to whom it lost early in the season, for the Gold Ball in Sunday’s title game at the County Center.


“It was a great win,” said Lourdes head coach Al Viani, whose team split two regular-season games. “We played each other three times, so it was just one of those games.”

Arlington looked extremely strong early, leading 17-13 after one. Midway through the second quarter the Admirals took a seven-point advantage, but Lourdes’ Mikayla Russo was keeping them in the game with her three-point shooting. Russo finished with 15 points in the first half, knocking down four triples.

“We were struggling a little bit offensively in the first half so, yeah, she definitely kept us in the game,” Viani said.

“Once I made my first shot, I just kept shooting,” Russo said. “I really wanted to win.”

Lourdes ended up storming back to tie the game at the half, thanks to six blocks in the first two periods from Ava Learn, perhaps a little foreshadowing how regulation would end.


After three, OLL had a four-point advantage. Early in the fourth quarter Lourdes took an eight-point lead, the largest of the game for either team, but the Admirals stayed strong on defense and continued to rack up steals and convert them into buckets to tie the game.

With just 24.2 seconds left and the game tied at 52-52, Arlington called timeout and set-up its final play to potentially take the lead. But, its shot wouldn’t fall and Learn grabbed the board. The Warriors had a chance with less than a second to go but could not convert.

But from the moment the ball tipped in overtime, it was all Lourdes.

The Warriors got out to a 14-0 run in overtime, and with each ensuing bucket it deflated the Admirals more and more.

Learn led all scorers with 19 points. She was huge in overtime, finishing with seven in the final frame.

“I’ve been trying for three years now, so it would just be amazing to get the title,” Learn said.

Sofia Feigleson was also huge in overtime, as she had the other seven Lourdes points, knocking down all four of her free throws when she needed to the most.

“Ava was really motivating me, and on the foul line she would tell me ‘make your free throws or else I’ll slap you’ so she was really helping me out,” Feigleson said with a laugh.

Now it’s on the Ursuline.

“We know Ursuline is undefeated, but we think we can beat them,” Russo said.

“This is going to be our biggest challenge. We’ll just have to do our hardest,” Learn said.

For Arlington, 19 wins wraps up a historic season. This was the school’s first trip back to the County Center in 21 years.

“I think we played hard and I think we played well. The ball just didn’t go in sometimes,” Arlington head coach Kim Costello said. “To have a chance against Lourdes at the County Center, I think the girls played phenomenal and I’m very proud of them.”

Mia Castillo led the team with 15 points. Morgan Hammell had nine and Ava Allen added eight.

“This team was closer than any team I’ve coached, and that’s the hard part,” Costello said. “They were phenomenal for Arlington, as a school, as a program, and for each other.”




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