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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Exciting fourth quarter lifts Jags over in-city rival Cabrini (PHOTO)

Hailey Lazarek (11) had a crucial free throw in the last seconds of Friday's game to help her Jaguars to a 46-43 victory over in-city rival Cabrini. The senior guard led Allen Park in points for the night with 11. Photo by Larry Caruso

The start of Friday’s girls’ basketball game between Allen Park and Cabrini got off to a slow start. The finish was anything but.

Some timely buckets, a few big blocks and one last free throw attempt left host Allen Park on the winning side of the in-city rivalry game.

The score was only a three-point difference after each quarter and the Jaguars only led after the first; a 12-9 advantage.

Things got off to a slow start and Allen Park only led 5-2 almost halfway into the first quarter.

Two triples from sophomore Erin Fish and six points from sophomore Aly Kubik helped the hosts to a 12-9 lead after eight minutes.

In the second quarter, Carbini got things going and outscored Allen Park 11-5.

Caitlyn Lefebrue gave the Monarchs a 13-12 lead just two minutes into the frame and they built their way to a 20-17 advantage at the half.

The Jags were held scoreless for almost four and a half minutes before sophomore Audrey Newstead got the first points of the quarter with a field goal and a free throw.

After the break the Jags regrouped and four players combined for 16 points, including three triples in the third quarter.

The Monarchs kept right up, scoring 16 points of their own to hold on to their three-point lead heading into the final quarter.

The teams switched leads in the third quarter and Allen Park was led by captain Casey Bowdell.

The senior recorded seven points in the quarter, tied the game on two separate occasions with a free throw and a field goal and gave her team a 26-24 lead with a triple.

It was in the final quarter that things got interesting.

The intensity of play had been increasing with each new quarter and the fourth gave fans their money worth.

The Monarchs took an early 39-38 after a triple from Carlee Alley with less than a minute gone by.

The teams traded possessions and things heated up even more, but the scoring went stagnant for almost four minutes.

Cabrini struck first when Alley put up a field goal for a 41-38 lead.

Bowdell brought it back within one by knocking down two free throw attempts.

With less than a minute and a half to go, Bowdell came up with a big block and that resulted in Jaguar possession and junior guard Olivia Keeley came up big.

She scored all seven of her night’s points in the final quarter including a triple that gave Allen Park a 43-41 advantage.

With less than a minute to go, Kendel Adamus put up a field goal to tie the game, but Keeley responded with one of her own for another lead.

With 10.8 seconds go to, senior Hailey Lazarek knocked down one of two free throws for the comfortable three-point lead.

Lazarek led the team with 11 points and four rebounds on the night.

Bowdell finished with nine points and four rebounds, Fish and Kubik each had eight points and Keeley had seven points.

Cabrini was led by Alley with 13 points. Lefebrue finished with six points and Emily Deeter had five points and six rebounds.

The rival win was even more special for the Bowdell, who had been on varsity since her sophomore season and had never beaten Cabrini.

The captain encouraged her team before heading onto the court for the night.

“(I told them) that this is my last time to beat them and I wanted it and they wanted it,” she said about her teammates. “I was just trying to get them ready and pump them up.”

It was clear how much Bowdell wanted the win with her big blocks and steals in the final minutes of the game.

“I was just like, I can’t let them score,” she said. “I had to stop them somehow.

“I had to do what I had to do to make sure they didn’t score.”

Bowdell knew it was a team effort and said the free throw of Lazarek at the end was huge.

“They had to get three to tie it,” she said “If we wouldn’t have made it, they could have shot a three and they could have won, or they could have shot and tied it.”

The Jags got into foul trouble in the first half and Coach Chuck Perez was pleased with the efforts of those who stepped in.

“The girls that came in off the bench, they kept us in the game,” he said. “Savannah Mehi was a huge spark for us today coming off the bench.

“And Casey wanted the game really bad, being a senior.”

During a timeout near the end of the game, Perez said the team focused on positioning the subs and settling down on the offense to ensure the win.

He knew it would be a good game, though.

“We just knew it was going to be a test game,” he said. “Cabrini …. They’re always hustling 100 percent, so we had to go above their intensity.

“That was pretty much our message.”

Cabrini Coach Mike Rozanski said the game was typical of the two schools.

“I thought it was a typical rivalry game between us,” he said. “I’ve been in I don’t know how many of these now.

“I thought it basically was what I expected. I give my kids credit because my two starting guards are on the bench and kids were trying to play in positions they weren’t used to.”

Rozanski said he thought his team could have pulled away a bit in the fourth quarter and credited Allen Park with their effort.

“I give Allen Park credit,” he said. “They really did a nice job with their pressure, found where we were weak at and took advantage of it.”

The Monarchs are now 1-1 on the young season and look to two games next week.

“We get better on Monday, get kids healthy and do what we need to do,” Rozanski said.

The Jags turn to a busy week of three games.

Now 2-0, they will take on Lincoln Park on Tuesday before facing a big test in Anderson on Thursday and face Inter-City Friday.

Last Updated: 12/6/2013 11:46:16 PM EST

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