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Bergstrom St. Viator break Angel's hearts in ESCC opener

In the East Suburban Catholic Conference Girls basketball opener for St.Viator and Joliet Catholic Academy the spotlight was on each school's All-ESCC stars.

St. Viator (1-0, 1-0) is led by their 5-foot-11 junior star Joy Bergstrom, while the host Angels of Joliet Catholic Academy (0-1, 0-1) are led by sophomore star Jasmine "Jazz" Brown.

In a game went go down to the final shot Bergstrom and her Lions would slip past Brown and her Angels 55-52.

As what always seems to happen in sports is the stars usually shine the brightest at the end of the game.

Angel freshman Anna Marie Godina (five points, one 3) nailed a pair of clutch free-throws to tie the game at 49 with 3:09 remaining in the game.

After overcoming early foul trouble and numerous injuries, a battered and bruised Brown put the Angels ahead.

With one of her patented, slashing drives to the hoop for two, Brown put the Angels up 51-49 with 1:33 left.

Nine seconds later Bergstrom answered with a drive of her own for two, to tie the game at 51.

With 48 seconds left, Bergstrom nailed a pair of free-throws to put the Lions up 53-51.

With 30 seconds left, Brown was fouled and converted on the first shot, but missed the second shot. Bergstrom was then fouled with 23 seconds left and nailed two more free-throws for a 55-52 Lion lead.

Brown brought the ball down and with 14 seconds remaining she launched the first of four three-point shots by different Angels.

All four missed the mark and Bergstrom and the Lions escaped 55-52.

Bergstrom would score a game-high 28 points, while the battered and bruised Brown scored 19

Behind Bergstrom's 15 first-half points, the Lions led 33-23 at halftime.

The Angels, behind Brown and senior Jenna Hernandez (14 points), opened up the second half on a 17-2 run to grab a 40-35 lead with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter. The Angels led 44-41 at the end of three quarters.

Brown scored 10 points and Hernandez scored seven in the 21-8, Angel third-quarter explosion.

"We switched to a 2-3 zone to start the third quarter and started to run our offense and shoot the ball well," Hernandez said. "This was a tough loss but we played very well in our first game of the season."

"The way we played tonight gives me confidence that we can do great things this season," Brown said. "In the future, I must make all of my free-throws."

Senior Breanna Ciemny chipped in with eight points for the Angels, while 5-foot-6 Charlie Kinsella scored only three points but despite her lack of size still hauled down seven rebounds for the Angels.

"Bergstrom is a great player," JCA coach Jim O'Brien said. "Jazz and Jenna had great games for us tonight. A number of our girls played well. It was a very positive first game of the season."


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