In just her third game back from injury, the impact had by Our Lady of Good Counsel High School senior guard Lindsey Spann in her team’s first encounter with Paul VI (Va.) early last month was minimal, but the same certainly cannot be said following the rematch Friday in Olney.
Still in the processing of working herself back into the lineup following a lengthy foot injury, Spann was limited to a single field goal and three points overall in the team’s 57-55 buzzer-beating loss to the Panthers Jan. 8. Having returned to form in the many games since, Spann scored 21 points, dished out numerous assists, and almost single-handedly beat the Paul VI press to spark the Falcons to a commanding 81-62 win.
“It was really fun; we were all really excited,” said Spann, who notched the 1,000-point of her career on a pair of free throws late in the first quarter. “They’re No. 1 in the area and a lot of teams have been coming out hard against them and we were the better team today.”
With the win, Good Counsel (21-3, 13-2), which also received big performances from Amanda Fioravanti (22 points, 9 rebounds), Sara Woods (19 points, 7 rebounds) and Bernadette Launi (7 points, 5 rebounds), pulled into a virtual tie with the Panthers (24-2, 14-2) for second place in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference standings.
St. John’s Catholic (23-1, 13-1 through Thursday) saddled Paul VI with its first loss of the season earlier this week and will sit alone atop the standings if the Cadets defeated Archbishop Carroll Friday. Their only loss came to Good Counsel Jan. 18.
“This is a big win,” Spann said. “We knew we needed to win this game; we need to win the rest of our games. It will come down close to the playoffs who gets No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 [seeds].”
Spann came out strong in the first quarter with eight points to help offset a slow start by Falcons, who trailed, 14-7, through the first three-plus minutes of the game, but rallied to take a 21-18 lead by quarter’s end. Fioravanti and Woods carried the team offensively in the second quarter with 12 combined points to stake the Falcons to a 35-30 halftime lead.
Shutout in the second quarter, Spann drove her way to 11 points in the third quarter to help force Paul VI starter Lindsey Oblitey out of the game with fouls at the 2:56 mark in the quarter and push the Falcons lead to 55-45.
When she was not scoring, Spann was setting up teammates for layups with one no-look pass after another, especially to Fioravanti and Woods in transition to continue to lengthen the team’s advantage during a 26-point fourth quarter.
“She kind of keeps the tempo up and gets the energy going,” Wood said. “We missed her [and on defense] we talked a lot more because they would kill us all the time on screens; we would switch and lose a person and they would get fouled and go to the rim. We had a talk before the game that we had to hustle and get to every loose ball ... because PVI’s a very good team and they hustle.”
That defensive effort held Paul VI scoreless for lengthy stretches of the game, including limiting the Panthers to one field goal in the final 3:57 of the game.
“I thought the team played great defense, especially after giving up 14 points in the first four minutes,” Falcons coach Tom Splaine said. “We held them down and made everything tough. They’re a good team and we did a great job. We’ve got to get ready for playoffs.”
Our Lady of Good Counsel 81, Paul VI 62
Paul VI 18 12 15 17 — 62
Good Counsel 21 14 20 26 — 81
Paul VI (24-2, 14-2): Lindsey Oblitey 6, Ariana Freeman 11, Jonquanae Cole 12, Marlena Tremba 17, jasmine Whitney 10, Annie Kane 6.
Good Counsel (21-3, 13-2): Lindsey Spann 21, Amanda Fioravanti 22, Bernadette Launi 7, Jordan Light 6, Sara Woods 19, Kendall Bresee 2, Nicole Enabosi 4.