Traditionally, Fontbonne’s Senior Night is the biggest game of the regular season, when families get a chance to see their daughters play in their last scheduled home game. In addition to a farewell ceremony, Fontbonne supporters were treated to one of the most competitive senior games in recent years. For this celebrated game, the 4-9 Bonnies hosted the 7-4 first-place North Division Maria Regina Tigers from Hartsdale.
Aaniya Telford scored 10 of her game-high 25 points in the first quarter to give the Bonnies a slim 11-10 lead. In the second quarter the Tigers kept pace with the Bonnies as Fontbonne finished the half with a 20-18 lead.
At half-time, coach Steve Oliver said goodbye to his seven 2022 graduating seniors, which included co-captains Telford and Eleni Sipp along with Kristen Hennessy, Alison Kienzle, Sophie Lopez, Mikayla McLaren and Paige O’Neil.
In the second half, the Bonnies and the Tigers went basket for basket, trading the lead several times. Along with the defensive rebounding of Sipp and Kristen Russo, the Bonnies finally established a 34-30 lead as Noelle Polanco closed out the third quarter on two consecutive baskets.
With two minutes left in the fourth quarter and Fontbonne holding a one-point lead, Sipp stepped up to unleash a long 3-point shot to give Fontbonne a 40-36 lead. After a subsequent Tiger basket to make the score 40-38 in the last minute of play, Sipp then shut down Maria Regina’s final scoring attempt, gaining possession on a defensive rebound with nine seconds left in the game.
Praising his team for an all-out effort on Senior Night, Oliver told them this was one of the better games against a first place team where the team stepped up to win. Using a metaphor of playing hard on the court to be successful in life, Oliver wished his seniors success after graduation, having seen his players’ top-game effort.