Alyssa Faville’s offensive rebound and putback with 5.4 seconds to go in overtime powered Conrad to a 49-46 victory over Caravel to win the 2018 DIAA Girls Basketball Championship.
Faville’s heroics came on a night when she scored 19 points and 6 rebounds to give the Red Wolves a boost on a night when leading scorer Julie Kulesza did not the the basket.
(VIDEO: Alyssa Faville’s winning basket)
Caravel trailed 41-37 with 1:30 to go in regulation when Maia Bryson hit a three-pointer, and then Sasha Marvel hit two free throws with 39.8 left to force the overtime period.
In the overtime period, Karli Cauley hit two free throws with 18 seconds left to tie the game at 46, but after Julie Kulesza missed a shot in traffic, Faville came from behind to secure the rebound, and lay a shot off the glass and in while being bumped to give her team the winning margin.
(VIDEO: Full Highlights)
It was the end to a physical game that was tight throughout, as Caravel led 9-8 after the opening quarter after a three-pointer and lay-up by Kendra Warren set the tone for a battle with Ja-Nylah Whittlesey throughout the game.
Faville made her first big mark on the contest in the second quarter, converting a steal and layup, and then a three-pointer, before another driving layup had Conrad up 18-13 late in the quarter.
Kaylee Otlowski, one of the few seniors on the court, responded with a driving layup, and then a double-spin move 17-foot jump that pulled her team within 20-17 at intermission.
Stefanie Kulesza connected on a jumper and three-pointer, as the Red Wolves were able to stretch the lead as much as 28-19, but Caravel, playing in their 4th title game in 6 years were not going away quietly.
Kendra Warren’s drive and lay-up concluded a 12-4 burst to end the frame, and the Bucs were within 32-31 going into the final quarter of regulation.
The run extended one more basket, as Sasha Marvel’s hoop put Caravel’s neck in front at 33-32 with 7:40 left, but that would be their last lead.
Jordan Rook found Whittlesey inside for a basket on Conrad’s next possession, and she’d score on her next trip as well, making the lead 36-33.
There would be another tie at 37-37 with 4:53 left after two free throws by Caravel’s Sasha Marvel, but Faville hit two free throws and a lay-up on the right side of the lane to re-establish a four-point lead, setting up the dramatics at the end of regulation, and Conrad never trailed in the overtime for the victory.
Faville finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds for Conrad, who collected 11 points and 8 boards from Whittlesey, and 12 points and 7 rebounds from Stefanie Kulesza. Both Whittlesey and Kulesza had 4 steals, as they forced 20 Caravel turnovers.
Perhaps most shocking, Julie Kulesza, the leading scorer for Conrad this season, went scoreless in the contest, but played solid defense against the Bucs’ array of shooters, and allowed her teammates to shine on the biggest stage in the state.
Kaylee Otlowski and Marvel each scored 12 points for Caravel, who also gained 11 points and 6 rebounds from Kendra Warren in just 17 minutes before she had to leave with an injury.
The victory is Conrad’s first state title in any sport since reopening as a high school last decade, while Caravel is still seeking its first girls hoops crown.