Bailey McCue was one of five players that played, but did not score, in Notre Dame’s (5-0) remarkable comeback victory over Episcopal Academy (6-1) Tuesday.
She wasn’t on the floor for her offensive prowess. The job of knocking down baskets was left up to the team’s Division I-bound senior guards, Kathleen Fitpatrick and Megan McGurk, who combined for 35 of the team’s 37 points. True story, not a typo.
McCue was tasked with covering the top big girl in the county, the reigning Daily Times Player of the Year, a 1,250-point scorer and and future starting forward at Villanova, Megan Quinn, who is “not an easy guard,” as Irish coach Mary Beth McNichol put it.
McCue did a stellar job. Whenever Quinn posted up and received the ball inside the paint, McCue was right there for a tough shot or pressuring Quinn to kick the ball back to one of her guards. Sometimes she was flanked by an extra defender, trapping Quinn. This was especially true in the second half, when McCue and the Irish limited Quinn to just five points.
“There was a lot more doubling when we started getting in foul trouble,” McCue said. “Other teams, there are probably a lot bigger girls, but not as good as her. She is so tall and she can shoot and she can play the post, so it’s a lot more difficult.”
“I just tried to do what I could.”
Thanks in part to McCue’s stingy defense on Quinn, the Irish were able to keep the county’s top scorer in check and make a furious comeback fueled by Fitzpatrick’s tremendous 23-point performance.
Notre Dame holds the early-season edge in the competitive Inter-Ac. EA and Notre Dame will meet again in late-January. Also, the Irish have two meetings with reigning champs Germantown Academy.