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Forde leads Shanahan past Downingtown East in OT

"I'm OK," Ciara Forde said to her coach, Fran Burbidge, with just 2 minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

"I'm OK," Ciara Forde said to her coach, Fran Burbidge, with just 2 minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

She nodded along in a reassuring manner as she said it, giving no indication that she would be anything but fine out on the basketball court.

It was good news for the Bishop Shanahan senior, who had subbed out of the game with more than five minutes left against rival Downingtown East, suffering from leg cramps. Her return was even better news for the Eagles.

Forde's 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 steals carried Bishop Shanahan to a 46-42 overtime win over the visiting Cougars in a dramatic Ches-Mont League game that saw Forde trade jabs with East's Paige Warfel.

"There were a couple of times where we really needed her to do that," Burbidge said. "I know she was tired. I know she was hurting, but the thing was she has to be that player for us. And I thought she really was tonight."

The guard was terrific from the start, making big plays for the Eagles (6-0, 3-0 league) whenever they needed her to. But in the third quarter, she felt a pain in her right calf as she came down from a jump. She returned quickly that time, but in the fourth period it was her left calf that bothered her.

Forde spent the few minutes on the sideline unable to sit still, both because of the intensity of the game and because of the cramping.

She went from sitting to standing to stretching to walking, momentarily removing her glance from the game to check the clock and drink some Gatorade.

"I was freaking out a little because I wanted to get back in there as quick as I could," Forde said.

When the Bloomsburg recruit did return, Warfel was in the process of mounting a comeback for the Cougars (4-1, 2-1). She completed the process as time expired, when she threw up a three, blanketed by defenders.

"I didn't think it was going in," Forde said. "She's just such an amazing player."

As time expired, Forde celebrated with a tiny fist pump and a hug from Grace Phillips.

Yes, she was OK.

Downingtown East 7 5 7 14 9 - 42

Bishop Shanahan 7 8 3 15 13 - 46

DE: Paige Warfel 20, Aryah Aungst 8, Lindsey Kent 8, Katelyn Crum 4, Danielle Tyrell 2.

BS: Ciara Forde 19, Courtney Warley 12, Kelly Basile 6, Sammie McCarter 5, Devon Adams 2, Grace Phillips 1, Mikayla Maxwell 1.