In the inaugural District 10-2A championship tournament, the Archbishop Hannan girls basketball team rode a 20-2 start to a district championship with a 50-42 win over Pine on Friday night.
Because the district has only four teams, the league decided to play a four-team tournament to decide the first-place team for the playoffs. Hannan beat Northshore Christian on Wednesday and Pine knocked off Pope John Paul to set up the championship game.
“An amazing feeling,” Hannan’s Julia Fecke said of capturing the district championship. “I don’t even know what to say.”
Miranda and Mallory Kramer led the Hawks, combining for 22 points in the win. Kennedy Martin and Fecke each had 11.
“We knew that we had to come out with a tremendous amount of intensity,” Fecke said. “This game was for the district championship. In the previous two games against (Pine), they had come out and started hot. We wanted it to be us this time, and we were able to accomplish that.”
In what is believed to be the first win over Pine in school history, Hannan (16-13) broke out to a 20-2 lead midway through the second quarter.
Hannan coach Stephen Griffin credited his team’s effort from the opening tip.
“We came out full court and our goal was to take it to them,” Griffin said. “But the key was we came out full court with a plan. It, in turn, made us more aggressive. We get tired to losing to the same team all the time. Competing on the floor against a team like Pine was all the motivation that we needed.
“As a coach, you have to be happy that it seems like we are playing our best basketball heading into the postseason.”
Behind a defense that held Pine (13-13) to only three field goals until 1:05 to go in the first half, the Hannan lead was 23-9 at halftime.
Pine cut the lead to 28-17 in the third quarter after a 6-0 run and got as close as 44-38 with 2:47 to go in the fourth after a Laken Breedlove 3-pointer, but Hannan was able to hold on for the win.
“We were in our gym, and we had to show who the tougher team was,” Hannan’s Aimee Guillot said. “We knew that the tougher team was going to win the game tonight, and we were determined that was going to be us. (Pine) pushed us around a lot, but we got up and did a little pushing of our own.”
The win for the Hawks avenges two losses earlier in district play. Pine had defeated Hannan 44-32 on Jan. 22 and 63-41 on Feb. 2.
“What we learned from those two losses was that Pine is a tough team and we are going to have to play our best if we wanted to beat them. We were able to do that in the first half, in particular. I looked up at the scoreboard and we were up big. It is a product of just being well prepared and really wanting it more.”
Breedlove led Pine with 13 points and Nyxavion Robertson had 11 for the Raiders.
POPE JOHN PAUL II 65, HANNAN 56: Despite coming into the game with an 11-15 overall record and losing to Hannan twice previously by a combined 57 points, the Jaguars left the Hawks gym Friday night with something Hannan didn’t have.
A district championship.
The Jaguars (12-15) upset the Hawks, in the inaugural 10-2A district championship tournament.
Entering the game ranked No. 32 in the latest unofficial LHSAA power rankings in Class 2A, the Jaguars are now assured of a playoff berth with the district-clinching win.
“This is what this tournament was set up for,” an excited PJP II coach Krisner Green said after the win. “We told our team coming into this week that our record was 0-0. All we had to do was win two games and we were the district champions. We rode our hot shooting in the first half to accomplish just that. A tremendous amount of credit goes to this team for beating a quality Hannan squad that is going to go to the playoffs as well.”
Only missing four shots in the first half, the Jaguars led Hannan 31-26 at halftime.
Brent Rideau finished with a game-high 19 points for the Jaguars. Shawn Henderson had 16 and Nick Phillips finished with 10.
Noah Griffin led the Hawks with 16 points, Patrick Bossetta had 15 and Ross Murray had 14.
Hannan (19-5) got as close as 31-28 on a Ross Murray bucket to open the third quarter, but the Hawks were never able to tie the game in the second half.
Hannan has previously defeated the Jaguars 78-43 on Jan. 19 and 59-37 on Jan. 29.