Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2007

Marzoni scores 21 as SCC erases nine-point

lead in last three minutes to force O.T., beat Cajuns


Sports Editor

Trailing Country Day by nine with less than three minutes of play remaining, it seemed apparent to everyone that St. Charles was going to suffer its first home loss of the season on Thursday.

Perhaps it was apparent to everyone – except for the Comets.

St. Charles’ furious 9-0 run to end regulation forced overtime, where the Comets pulled off an improbable victory by outscoring the Cajuns 11-2 in the extra frame. St. Charles emerged a 51-42 winner, and is now 6-1 in its last seven games.

“I just cannot say enough about this team and these players,” said St. Charles Coach Erin Remondet. It’s their work ethic, their desire to win. I could see it in their eyes, just how much they wanted it.”

Remondet has said that the main difference in this year’s team from the ones in the past few seasons is that it seems to have learned how to win in close games. That was put to the test against the Cajuns — and then some.

When the Cajuns’ Ariel Bartholomew scored her 23rd and 24th points on a fourth quarter layup, it put Country Day ahead 40-31 with less than three minutes left.

But once the Comets’ Brittany Roussel scored to make it 40-33, the momentum completely shifted. The Comets forced the issue defensively, pressing and trapping the Cajun ball handlers, and Country Day could not make them pay.

Another Roussel basket made it 40-35. After another Comets stop, Megan Musacchia made 1-of-2 free throws to cut the lead to four.

With a minute left, the Comets (12-6) fouled Country Day’s Caroline Schmidt, who missed the front end of a one-and-one.

At the other end, St. Charles got the ball to Brooke Becker, who drew a foul and made two shots to cut the deficit in half, making it 40-38 with 0:47 remaining.

Then, with 36 seconds left, Musacchia came up with a steal. She drew a foul and made 1-of-2 at the line to make it a one-point game.

“We turned up the pressure and upped the tempo of the game on defense,” said Remondet. “We really turned it up, and it enabled us to get to the foul-line.”

Bartholomew was injured on the play, and had to leave the game, compounding the pressure for Country Day. With its best ball-handler out the game, the Cajuns had to rely on others to pull them through.

But after another Comets’ stop, Michelle Marzoni went to the basket and drew a foul. She missed the first shot, but made the second with 10.5 seconds left. The Cajuns were unable to get a shot off before the clock expired.

While most would have expected the Comets’ leading scorers Becker and Marzoni to take over in overtime, it was sophomore Dominique DiCarlo who proved to be the hero. She scored her first four points of the game to open overtime. Then, with St. Charles leading 46-42 with 0:58 seconds left, she emerged with a steal. St. Charles was able to run the clock down to 34 seconds before Marzoni drew a foul.

The veterans ended what their young teammate started. Marzoni and Becker closed out the game by going a combined 5-6 from the line.

“We just never stopped playing,” DiCarlo said. “We weren’t going to stop going for it. A win like this gives us a lot of confidence.”

Marzoni hit five 3-pointers and led Comet scorers with 21 points. Roussel scored 10. Becker added eight.