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Bishop McGuinness girls fend off elimination for second straight day at 4A regionals

Lady Irish continue their rebound after loss to Bethany to begin postseason play
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By Michael Kinney 

BETHANY - Bishop McGuinness' girls team opened the postseason going in the wrong direction. 

Not only did the Lady Irish lose to Class 4A No. 3 Bethany, but the 42-point deficit was also the largest defeat of the season.

The loss also put the Lady Irish on the brink of seeing their season come to an end. One more loss and they would be cleaning out their lockers.

Yet, since then, Bishop McGuinness has won their next two games. That includes beating Oklahoma Christian School, 71-46, Friday afternoon in the 4A regional consolation semifinals at Bethany High, a day after opening regionals with a win against Community Christian.

“It was a rough first game to draw Bethany in the first round of the playoffs,” Lady Irish coach Jade Carter said. “I think we're better than most people thought we were, and the bounce back has been something that we've expected in our locker room.

"We kind of just put our heads down and grinded.”

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According to Bishop McGuinness junior Clare Kierl, the team just got back to work after losing to Bethany and hasn’t looked back.

“The key is just being able to get in the gym and realize what type of team we are and our strengths and weaknesses, and just bring energy every practice and game,” Kierl said.

When the game started, OCS sophomore Ava McIntyre was feasting on the Lady Irish defense to start the afternoon. She had eight of the team’s first 11 points.

However, McIntyre picked up her third foul with just 56 seconds left in the first quarter and coach Ashley Dublin had to put the sophomore on the bench. McIntyre sat out the rest of the first half.

Conversely, the Lady Saints turned the pressure and pace of the game up and unleashed their fast-break offense against the Lady Saints. Victoria Ososanya and Kierl were the primary beneficiary of the up-tempo style as they sprinted past the OCS defenders.

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However, the Lady Irish were not shy about hoisting up 3-pointers as well. They knocked down three in the second quarter.

Despite the teams combining for more than 20 total fouls, Bishop McGuinness took a 43-21 advantage into halftime.

The Lady Irish kept pressing and running throughout the second half. They didn’t give OCS a chance to catch their breath and reset.

The lead never dropped below 20 as the Lady Irish cruised to the victory.

Despite missing an entire quarter of action, McIntyre led all scorers with 23 points. Freshman Ella Voskuhl added six points.

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Ososanya paced the Lady Irish with 15 points. Kierl added 12 points while Kate Fletcher chipped in with nine.

“I think we played as a team,” Ososanya said. “We usually get discouraged, throw up bad shots, but I feel like everybody was sticking together and just continuing to play all the way through the game.”

While Oklahoma Christian School’s season comes to an end, Bishop McGuinness (10-15) advances to another must-win game Saturday when they take on Elgin, which beat Cushing in another consolation round game Friday. Saturday's winner moves on to the area tourney while the loser heads home.

“We actually played Elgin early in the year in a tournament; and I was missing four varsity players that game,” Carter said. “They're big and they fed the post and they went at us.

"(Saturday) we’ve got a full squad. I'm excited to see what it looks like.”