By Dylan Butler
With Christ the King clinging to a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter against rival Mary Louis and with two starters saddled with four fouls apiece, it got a whole lot hotter for Molloy girls’ basketball coach Marty Towey.
Good thing Rosalyn Gold-Onwude — who, along with Jessica McEntee, was in foul trouble — provided some cooling relief for the Stanners, scoring 9 of her game-high 21 points during a critical 14-2 run in the fourth quarter en route to a 53-37 win in a CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan quarterfinal Saturday.
No. 3 Molloy (18-7) will face second-seeded St. Francis Prep (15-9) in a semifinal game scheduled for Wednesday.
“I was really hoping the third quarter would go by quick,” Towey said. “But we had some bench players come in and held us together.”
Earlier in the game, the talented Gold-Onwude was one of the reasons for Towey’s agita.
Even though Mary Louis didn’t have anyone to guard her, Gold-Onwude found herself in foul trouble — picking up her third foul with 2:54 left in the first half after slamming into Rachele Burriesci, who drew a total of four charges.
“I thought I was a bit out of control, but the last time we played them and lost we blamed the refs, but you can’t do that,” the 5-foot-10 sophomore said. “You have to play on.”
Gold-Onwude changed her game in the second half, opting for pull-up jumpers rather than risk another offensive foul by slashing through the lane. She scored off an inbound to extend the Stanners’ 36-35 lead after three quarters to three points.
She then alertly found a wide-open Keri-Ann Jetter, who buried a three-pointer from the left wing — her only trifecta of the game — to give Molloy a 43-35 lead and force Mary Louis coach Joe Lewinger to call timeout.
Unfortunately for Mary Louis (4-20), which scored just two points in the fourth quarter, the timeout only served as a brief respite. Gold-Onwude scored seven straight points to cap a 16-2 run.
“We just ran out of gas,” Lewinger said. “I told them they’re going to have to play until they dropped, and they did. We missed our shots and they hit theirs; there’s no scientific formula.”
Burriesci was one of the few bright spots for Mary Louis, which saw two of its starters — Erin Breen and Liz Strein — combine to score 2 points. Despite giving up several inches inside, Burriesci battled to score a team-high 14 points. Sophomore Liz Flynn, who, at 5-foot-11 looks like Yao Ming on tiny Mary Louis, added 8 points off the bench.
“I don’t think it was fatigue, we just didn’t do the little things,” Burriesci said. “We got sloppy and the next thing I know, we’re down by 10.”
Mary Louis players walked off the court thinking they had played their final game of the year. But Lewinger told the defending Federation Class D champions that, because of St. Francis Prep’s 70-32 win over Bishop Ford, the Hilltoppers will have the chance to represent the Brooklyn Queens Diocesan in the state CHSAA championships when the Hilltoppers face Bishop Ford Sunday.
“I would have preferred to win the game but it is a relief,” Burriesci said. “I’m glad our season isn’t over.”
St. Francis Prep 70, Bishop Ford 32. Caitlin Kennedy had 18 points and 9 rebounds, and Susan Divald scored 11 of her 13 points in the first quarter as the Terriers opened up a 22-3 lead. Demaris Walton led Bishop Ford (8-15) with 12 points.
St. John’s Prep 57, St. Savior 53. Shaniqua Edmonds scored 26 points, including four free throws late to propel St. John’s Prep past St. Savior in the CHSAA ‘B’ quarterfinals. The Red Storm (11-8) overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to advance to play No. 1 seeded Fontbonne Hall. Starla White added 11 and Meghan Foley chipped in 10.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.