Katie O’Brien’s priorities are clear, according to her mother and St. Dominic’s girls basketball coach Michele O’Brien.
“She’s a model first, a lacrosse player second and a basketball player third. That’s her love,” Michele said. “She wants to be in front of the camera.”
Katie played a starring role in the Bayhawks 50-45 come-from-behind victory against Brooklyn Collegiate in the third annual Under Armour Classic at St. John the Baptist Sunday.
The senior point guard scored 12 of her team-high 17 points after halftime, including a pivotal seven straight to break a 42-all tie in the final 3:37 of the fourth quarter.
“She did an unbelievable job today keeping everything under control the entire time,” said Michele, who picked up career win No. 349.
Katie needed to step up, especially after leading scorer Dana Campbell, who had seven points in the opening three minutes, went down with a back injury. The junior was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center at halftime.
“A lot of things happen to kids when they see their best player going down,” Michele said. “We were a little flat for a while.”
Trailing 42-36 early in the fourth quarter, though, the Bayhawks awoke in a big way, going on a 13-0 run capped by an O’Brien layup off a turnover.
But her biggest basket was a dagger 3-pointer with 3:37 left to put St. Dominic (2-0) in front for good.
“It felt really great because I wasn’t shooting well in the beginning,” she said. “I wanted to be a leader on the floor because I’m one of the captains.”
Katie also contributed defensively. In the fourth quarter, she and sophomore Julia LoRusso trapped Brooklyn Collegiate’s Courtney Fleming, forcing some key turnovers. Fleming, a freshman guard, bombed away from deep to score a game-high 23 points, but the Bayhawks switched to a box-and-one in the fourth and limited her to just three points in the final eight minutes.
“Our defense at the end was really good. We pulled together as a team and really did a great job,” said LoRusso, who added nine points. “We knew we had to shut her down or we would lose.”
Michele said she liked the resolve from her team, which on Friday opened the season with their first win against St. Francis Prep in five years. In that game, Campbell led the way with 17 points, five assists and five rebounds, while Katie had 16 points, including a key floater and free throws late.
“These kids are not going to lay down, they’re not going to die,” Michele said. “They were motivated and they did rally together as a team. I’m very proud.”
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