Basile hits running layup in final minute as Bishop Shanahan wins first Ches-Mont title

WEST GOSHEN — Kelly Basile was just trying to help out her Bishop Shanahan teammates in any way possible.

Basile didn’t dream the night before she would make the go-ahead shot in the final minute to give the Ches-Mont title to the Eagles. Nor was it drawn up that way.

“I wanted to try and do something for my team,’ Basile said. “I wasn’t shooting well so I just saying to myself I’ll just make a play on defense. It just happened to work out on the offensive end. It was nice.’

Basile ended up a receipent of a brilliant cross-court pass by Grace Phillips, who was double-teamed in the corner, and hit a running layup with 30.1 seconds left to give Shanahan a two-point lead.

On Downingtown East’s final possession, Kaelyn Johns’ 33-foot heave hit the front of the rim at the buzzer as Bishop Shanahan clinched its first Ches-Mont League title with a 27-25 victory over the Cougars in the Ches-Mont Championship Game at West Chester East High School on Tuesday night.

The championship was the first overall league title for the Eagles (21-3) since 1971, but recognized by the school as the fourth in program history. Shanahan won the Southern Chester County Legaue regular season titles in 1980 and 2000. The Cougars (18-6) had their nine-game winning streak snapped with the loss. East has lost its last four games to Shanahan, including all three this season.

Basile’s shot could not have been made without the play by Phillips, who was clutch in the entire fourth quarter for Shanahan.

Getting the ball at the top of the key in a 25-25 game with 40 seconds remaining, Phillips, guarded heavily by Laura Ochsner, dribbled to her right where Johns awaited her.

Instead of kicking the ball out to Ciara Forde, Phillips flung the pass cross-court to a wide-open Basile, who hit the layup to give the Eagles a 27-25 lead.

“I was going to call timeout in the corner,’ Phillips said. “Once I saw Kelly (Basile) was cutting, I kind of knew where she was going. I’ve done that with Ciara (Forde) so many times and just passed it to her. It was such a rush once she made the shot. I knew we had a good chance of winning then.’

Downingtown East still had a chance to tie it after Basile’s shot and was looking for Paige Warfel, the Ches-Mont’s leading scorer in the post.

The ball never got to Warfel as Rachel Parker knocked the ball out of Laura Ochsner’s hands at the foul line with six seconds left. Parker dribbled the ball up the court and handed it to Jamie Powers, who was fouled immediately.

“Our passing wasn’t good all night,’ said Downingtown East head coach Bob Schnure. “Their zone gave us problems and we just didn’t move the ball well enough. We were real hesitant with our passing.’

Powers needed to sink both free throws to clinch the title for Shanahan. She missed the front end of the one-and-one, giving East one last chance to tie or win the championship.

With no timeouts left, Warfel got the ball and heaved a pass to Johns at midcourt. Johns took two dribbles and put up the heave that hit the front of the rim as time expired.

Once the shot didn’t fall, Forde jumped into Devon Adams’ arms as Shanahan celebrated around midcourt. As the Eagles headed into the locker room to celebrate, their fans were there to congratulate them on their accomplishment.

“I’m so happy for them and for the Shanahan community,’ said Shanahan head coach Fran Burbidge. “To see the smiles on their faces is enough. When you beat Downingtown East in the championship, you definitely earned it. It wasn’t given to them.’

In a defensive battle for the first three quarters, it certainly wasn’t.

Using a 2-3 zone, Shanahan shot down Warfel and the East offense. Warfel was held to just one field goal and six points. Ochsner led the Cougars with eight points while Lindsay Kent had six and Johns 5.

East kept Forde off the score sheet throughout the night as she was held to just one point. The Cougars had no answer for Adams, as she provided half of Shanahan’s offensive output with a game-high 14 points.

“She made some great shots down there,’ Schnure said. “We tried to double-team her, but she’s a force. They did a good job of being patient and getting the ball to her. We made them earn points tonight, but congrats to them.’

As Shanahan celebrated with the Ches-Mont championship trophy, Basile and Parker couldn’t believe what they accomplished. They set a Ches-Mont title as one of their goals in November.

Now, it’s finally a reality.

“I’m so speechless,’ Basile said. “Words can’t describe how proud I am of my teammates nor how excited I am. It was just a great game. I felt we deserved it.’

“I think I jumped as high as I ever jumped once we won,’ Parker said. “This is awesome. It’s sweeter than I thought it would be. I thought it would be amazing, but didn’t know until I held the trophy. I almost cried when I got it.’

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