Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lakeland, Kennedy Advance to Pct Final

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lakeland, Kennedy Advance to Pct Final

Article excerpt

PATERSON - Sarah Deighan stood at the free throw line loose and relaxed.

She laughed with her teammates. She stayed composed.

The Lakeland junior forward refused to let the pressure faze her.

Deighan had just been fouled shooting a three-pointer. There were five seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Lancers trailed Eastside by two points.

A trip to the Passaic County tournament final was on the line.

Make. Make. Make.

Deighan swished all three foul shots, sending Lakeland's bench into a frenzy as the fifth-seeded Lancers defeated No. 1 Eastside, 34-33, in the Passaic County tournament semifinals Saturday at Kennedy.

"Once she made the first one, I knew the next ones were going in," coach Brian Phillips said.

The Lancers will play second-seeded Kennedy in the final. The Lady Knights defeated No. 3 Wayne Hills, 47-37, to advance.

Lakeland, which trailed by 11 points at halftime, extended its winning streak to eight games.

"It feels amazing, but it was really a team effort," Deighan said. "We have so many girls on this team that just have so much talent. By the end of the season, by right here, right now, it just all came together and it clicked and we all worked together really well."

Deighan, who scored 13 points, came through in the biggest spot.

With the Lady Ghosts leading, 33-31, Phillips called timeout with 10 seconds remaining.

Phillips said the Lancers were going for the win out of the timeout.

The plan was to get sophomore guard Hausnaya Fowler or freshman guard Keira Marks the ball to attempt a three-pointer.

But senior guard Jess Catalioto had a tough time finding an open teammate with Eastside having the Lancers well covered.

When the ball did come in, a scramble ensued and Deighan managed to come away with it.

"I picked it up and I immediately got sandwiched," Deighan said. "I tried to run in between them and I knew that there was under 10 seconds left, so I just threw it up and I felt my arm get hit. …

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