A ten point lead at the end of three quarters had ballooned to 22 early in the fourth quarter, and things were looking fairly bleak for Cinderella South Brunswick.
But the 7th-seeded Vikings were not done.
They stormed back on top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas to cut the deficit to six with under a minute left as diminutive 5′ 3″ sophomore Meher Vig hit a three, went 5 of 7 from the foul line, and hit four straight buckets on drives to the hoop for a 16-point fourth quarter that nearly gave her time the most unbelievable of wins.
Aquinas hung on to win, but it took all they had, including key free throws down the stretch by junior Jessica Cooper and freshman Leah Crosby, who would later be named the Tournament MVP.
Final score: St. Thomas Aquinas 64, South Brunswick 58, in a game that was closer than it looked, but shouldn’t have gotten that close either.
Aquinas got sloppy with the ball up by 20-plus points, and could have eaten the clock before South Brunswick made its unbelievable run. The Vikings – mainly Vig, but also freshman Alexis Lease-Springer, who had 17 points including a trey as part of her nine-point fourth quarter – made the Trojans pay, taking advantage of nearly every turnover and every possession.
Vig finished with 18 for South Brunswick, and Crosby finished a game- and career-high 23, including 4 of 7 at the charity stripe.
Aquinas (21-3) won its sixth county championship, fifth in the GMC era, and its third straight title, going back to 2019 when it was known as Bishop Ahr. (The full tournament was not played last year due to COVID-19.) It also won titles in 2001, 1994, and 1984 as Bishop Ahr.
South Brunswick dropped to 18-7 with the loss, but has a bright future as they will bring back several key players, including Vig and Lease-Springer.
Click below to hear postgame reaction from St. Thomas Aquinas’ GMC Tournament Championship: