By Anthony Bosco
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and her Archbishop Molloy teammates did all they could. They went punch-for-punch with the nationally ranked Christ the King Royals, but in the end CK simply was too tall, too fast and too good.
The Christ the King girls’ varsity basketball team won the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan championship Sunday night at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, 82-62, holding off a determined but ultimately outgunned Molloy Stanners squad.
“I’m happy with our performance,” said Christ the King head coach Bob Mackey. “I thought we played a really great team game. Whenever you have five players in double figures, it was a great team effort.”
The same could be said of Molloy, which took the floor without a senior on its roster and playing in only its second year of varsity ball. Gold-Onwude finished with a game-high 22 points, with 7 rebounds and 5 steals.
The Stanners, who earned a trip to the finals by upsetting St. Francis Prep in the semifinals earlier in the week, stayed close to CK throughout most of the first quarter and cut their deficit to five when Jennifer Kelleher and Gold-Onwude scored back-to-back baskets to make the score 30-25 with 5:57 remaining in the first half.
But that would be as close as they would get. CK quickly scored eight straight points, using its size on the boards and its speed on the fast break to open up a 13-point lead less than a minute and a half later.
The Royals closed out the first half on a 19-2 run to go into halftime leading 49-27.
“They kind of ran us to death,” said Molloy coach Marty Towey. “They got a lot of cheap baskets on us because we just didn’t turn around quick enough. That’s how they beat you. They beat you on the transition game. We have to run with them.”
“We tried hard,” Gold-Onwude said. “A lot of their points were on the run. We knew that if we wanted to win they were going to have to have not their best game and we were going to have to have our best game. They kill everybody running.”
The Stanners managed to keep the game respectable in the second half by battling back after Royals runs with spurts of their own. After CK went up 59-34, Molloy scored eight straight and then answered an eight-point CK run with a 12-5 stretch.
Molloy actually outscored CK in the second half, 35-33.
“We expected [Molloy to play hard],” said CK All-American Shay Doron, who scored 14 points. “This is a championship game. We expect everyone to come out and play their best. Teams tend to play their best against Christ the King. We overcame that, played together, stuck together, played hard and we got the win.”
Leslie Dickinson led the Royals with 19 points. Amanda LoCascio and Candice Lindsay chipped in 10 points apiece. McEntee had 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in the loss.
The victory locked up the 19th straight Diocesan crown for the Royals, who now turn their sights to the Division I Catholic state championships tournament and a March 16 date with St. Peter’s at St. John’s University. CK is gunning for its 14th straight CHSAA state crown. If they win that title again, they will head to Glens Falls for the State Federation tournament.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Doron said. “It’s not for certain we’re going to be [in Glens Falls] this year. No one is thinking about finals yet.”
CK is now 22-1, while Molloy dips to 19-8.
The Mary Louis Academy 47, Bishop Ford 33. The Mary Louis Academy Hilltoppers earned the right to defend their CHSAA ‘D’ state crown and a trip to Buffalo for the semifinals by defeating Bishop Ford Sunday. Rachele Burriesci led the way with 10 points in the Brooklyn/Queens ‘D’ state classification game. Rasheeda Mark led Ford with 12.
Stella Maris 64, Fontbonne Hall 60. The Stella Maris LadyFlippers won the CHSAA Division II championship Sunday, edging Brooklyn’s Fontbonne Hall. Jennifer Anglero scored 23 points and Natalia Alexander added 14 for the victors, who finish with an 18-7 record. Fontbonne Hall defeated St. John’s Prep to reach the finals.
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.