By Larry Moko
The Bishop Ryan Celtics needed a lift and they got it from Alyssa Mawema.
Bishop Ryan was reeling from an 11-point third-quarter run that gave the St. Thomas More Knights a three-point lead. That’s when Mawema personally put a stop to her team’s slide. She scored the next six straight points and the Celtics never looked back.
Bishop Ryan took the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic midget girls’ high school basketball championship with a 43-29 decision over the first-place Knights.
It was the second consecutive midget crown for the Celtics.
“We knew we were in trouble,” Celtics coach Kevin Daly said. “We needed a great player to step up. And Alyssa did.
“She has been one of our main players all year. She kind of does everything. Alyssa rebounds, passes and can shoot. She’s a leader on the team. That’s why she’s one of our captains.”
Mawema netted a game-high 15 points for the second-place Celtics. Teammate Claudia Landry added seven.
More got eight points by Irelan Scanlon and five by five by Lorena Morcone.
“I think the key was rebounding,” Daly said. “We got a lot of extra shots because we’re a little bigger than them. We got second and third opportunities.”
Mawema, who is a club player for Newman Youth Basketball, and Celtics point guard Ashton Kolenc combined for a clever manouevre to close the third quarter. It ended up being a three-point play after Mawema made the layup and was fouled. Said Daly: “Ashton made a great decision in holding the ball. She kept her composure, waited until there were a few seconds left and then threw a beautiful pass to Alyssa (near the basket). That was a huge play to end the quarter.”
During the regular season the teams split their two meetings. More won the opener, 34-30, and Bishop Ryan answered with a 42-32 decision.
Semifinal playoffs saw More defeat the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves, 37-11, and Bishop Ryan down the Cardinal Newman Cardinals, 56-17.