Immaculate Conception girls hoops makes it ‘Back-to-Back’ Essex tournament titles
Immaculate Conception girls basketball team controlled the tempo and led most of the way in route to winning the 2023 Essex County Tournament title on Saturday afternoon.
Despite leading most of the way, it wasn't easy for the Lions who pulled away in the final minute as Immaculate Conception defeated University, 60-54, at Essex Community College for the county girls hoops tournament championship.
For the Lions the victory goes along with Immaculate Conception defeating the same University team, 67-59, for the 2022 ECT championship, also at Essex Community College.
Lions senior Tyonna Bailey made the most of her final county tournament game with a team leading 26 points, 19 of which came in the second half.
While Bailey was cooking in the second half, it was Immaculate Conception sophomore Nila Giraud who was on fire in the first half. The sophomore forward contributed 18 points in the game, 16 of which came in the first half, and she also drained three, three-point buckets.
In the second half, every time University would make a run to cut into the IC lead or even take a small lead, Bailey and the rest of the Lions would reply.
University would grab a 40-38 lead with less than three minutes left in the third quarter.
As it turns out that would be the last time, Immaculate Conception would allow the Phoenix to take a lead in the title match.
Bailey would score six unanswered points to help the Lions regain the advantage, 44-40 with a minute remaining in the third quarter.
University would continue to try to get past Immaculate Conception the rest of the nine minutes. But each time the Lions responded.
And with 21 seconds left in the final, Bailey would drive in the paint right to the basket and get fouled. The senior would complete the three-point play with a free throw and Immaculate Conception will all but lock up championship trophy with a 57-52 lead.