Judge Memorial’s Kailie Quinn had ice water running through her veins as she casually made her free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining.
The 5-foot-9 captain had willed herself and her teammates back within a point against rival Juan Diego. While her heart should have been racing, coach Anthony Alford explained that the training and practice Quinn puts into situational plays makes her cool as a cucumber when it is time to execute.
“She puts the work in for these situations. When they come to her, it’s like a dream come true,” Alford said. “She finds the right gear and can stay in the gear, she can do a lot of the right things for this team.”
Quinn easily drained both free throws for the 56-55 victory.
In a back-and-forth match, Juan Diego (2-1) constantly threatened to go ahead. Led by Alexa Mortenson with 17 points with two 3-pointers, and Monique Mills’ 11 points, the Soaring Eagle focused on double-teaming Judge Memorial’s center, Vennessa Austin, and spreading the floor.
“They are an incredible team,” Quinn said. “They fought us throughout the entire game but Vennessa got open and was able to finish.”
Austin fought through the double teams, racked up nine rebounds and finished the game with 22 points.
“I have such good chemistry with Vennessa and we’ve been working hard to connect on the floor,” Quinn said. “She plays tough and got the offense started for us.”
Quinn was held to a single bucket at halftime but took control of the game in the second half, finishing with 23 points with five 3-pointers. More impressive than her outside shooting was her ability to come up with four crucial steals and finish on each of the new possessions.
“That’s what she can do for us. She knows she has to get us psyched up and to bring her teammates with her,” Austin said. “She is incredible and plays with an intensity.”
Storylines Judge 56, Juan Diego 55
R Judge Memorial’s Kailie Quinn scores 25 points, 5 3-pointers and drains the final free throws for the victory.
• Judge Memorial’s Vennessa Austin held the post down with 21 points.
• Quinn finished with four steals, and the Bulldogs improved to 4-0.