After Fontbonne beat St. Edmund 46-36 one month ago, the JV Eagles were anxious for a home court win in front of a big crowd that had gathered for Senior Night as part of a JV-Varsity doubleheader. Cheered by a packed gym of raucous supporters, St. Edmund took an early 14-3 runaway lead in the first quarter as the Eagles sank basket after basket by their “Big Three” – Avia Reyes (16 points), Brooke Knight (12 points) and Julia Hines (8 points).
After getting pounded by the Eagles to open the game, the Bonnies finally received a wake-up call when Leeann Ryan unleashed a long three-point basket from half court with three seconds left to close out the first quarter to make the score 14-6.
“She gave us the impetus to play hard for the rest of the game after we found ourselves so deep in a hole,” said JV Coach Bob Atanasio about the return of the sophomore who had just sat out a month with a fractured wrist.
In the second quarter Fontbonne flipped the script to hold the Eagles to just six points, while the Bonnies scored 13 points to end the first half, trailing St. Edmund 20-16. In the second half, Ryan’s impetus carried over for a 13-5 run that saw Rebecca Dileo (8 points), Alex Somerville (5 points) and Lauren Brenna (12 points) score three consecutive baskets to close out the third quarter for a 29-25 Fontbonne lead.
With the Bonnies maintaining a 43-37 fourth quarter lead and 15 seconds left, St. Edmund’s Isabella Passaro came off the bench to connect for a long, unexpected 3-point basket to narrow the score to 43-40. With no choice but to foul the Bonnies in order to get another possession for a chance to at least tie the game, Ryan was fouled on the subsequent inbounds play. Having already scored 12 points, Ryan calmly stepped to the free throw line to sink her 13th point, putting the game out of reach to give Fontbonne the 44-40 win.
“She adds a whole dimension to the team’s game when she’s in there,” said Atanasio.
In addition to her 13 points, Ryan had four steals, three assists and four rebounds and is still the team’s second leading scorer with 72 points along with a 10-point game average despite her month’s absence.
Teammate Lauren Brenna currently leads the team with 106 total points along with a 9-point game average. During this game, Brenna practically matched Ryan’s stats, scoring 12 points along with two steals, four assists and three rebounds.
Just as important as the team’s two top scorers, point guard Alex Somerville (30 season points) also played a key role, scoring five points, making four steals, dishing out four assists and capturing two rebounds.