By Dylan Butler
Two days after its 17-game winning streak was snapped by Long Island City and with key league games against Forest Hills and Van Buren on the horizon, the John Bowne girls’ basketball team knew it was important to get off to a quick start against Renaissance Friday.
And thanks to Margaret Courter, the Wildcats got out to the best start possible as the sophomore guard scored all 14 of her points in the first half, moving John Bowne a step closer to the Queens II-B crown with a 59-25 rout of Renaissance.
Much to the chagrin of Renaissance coach Kenyatta Brown, the Wildcats came out as a team on a mission after their two-point loss against LIC.
“I wanted them on cloud nine; I wanted them thinking they were invincible,” Brown said. “That’s the opportunity, when someone is overconfident, a little cocky, that’s when you can take them. I didn’t want them to be mad and focused.”
Led by Courter, who also had 10 rebounds, five steals and four assists, and Tacheyana Brown (22 points, five steals), John Bowne roared ahead, 29-2, on a bevy of easy layups spurred by the Wildcats’ defensive intensity in their 1-2-2 zone.
“I had a good game today. I was feeling it,” Courter said. “The team was playing good today. We weren’t hogging the ball and everything was going well.”
Added Bowne coach Bruce Bitterman: “Margaret set the tone and took the ball to the basket. They were in a man-to-man defense, which we haven’t seen too much of, and she was the one who initiated everything in the first half.”
At the end of the first quarter Kenyatta Brown called more timeouts (three) than his team had points, and the frustrated coach replaced his entire starting five and they sat for the remainder of the game. Kenyatta Brown also stoically sat on the end of the bench, speechless for the final three quarters.
“The team was unraveling and the other shoe needed to drop before we went into the playoffs,” Kenyatta Brown said. “Hopefully a lot of positives will come out of this.”
Led by Catherine Pena, who scored 12 points, Renaissance (13-6, 12-6) went on a 10-2 run to trail 31-12 less than a minute into the third quarter. But Tacheyana Brown scored 13 points during a 24-2 run as John Bowne (19-2, 16-1 Queens II-B) led 55-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Two days ago it affected us, the team was hurt, but we said we were going to win,” Tacheyana Brown said. “We just tried to recover from that and win today’s game.”
Bayside 67, Bryant 62. Shakia Woods had 21 points, including five of her team’s 10 overtime points, Gayle Silverstein added 21 points and T.K. Bent tied the game at 57 on a three-pointer with five seconds left in the fourth quarter for Bayside (11-11, 6-7 Queens A).
Francis Lewis 70, Townsend Harris 54. Jasmin Lawrence had 15 points and Diatiema Hill added 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists for Francis Lewis (20-4, 14-0 Queens A).
Cardozo 80, Jamaica 39. Lekesha Harris had 17 points and five rebounds and Britni Bolden added 15 points and 12 rebounds for Cardozo (12-8, 9-4 Queens A). Whitney Harris led Jamaica (0-14 Queens A) with 18 points.
Van Buren 47, Forest Hills 35. Samantha Johnson had 21 points and Delise Johnson added 12 for Van Buren (16-5, 14-3 Queens II-B).
Richmond Hill 57, Campus Magnet 25. Helen Marte had 19 points and 12 assists and Wendy Reyes and Rachel Babooram scored 12 points apiece for Richmond Hill (14-2 Queens I-B).
August Martin 69, John Adams 53. Nicole Michael had 28 points and 20 rebounds and Shaneice Johnson had 16 points for August Martin (9-4 Queens A), while Natalie Young had 23 points and seven rebounds for John Adams (4-10 Queens A).
Thomas Edison 44, Franklin K. Lane 19. Nicole Wright had 15 points for Thomas Edison (8-6 Queens I-B) while Bergrys Nunez paced Lane (0-16) with 11 points.
Grover Cleveland 51, Springfield Gardens 44. Tatiana Diaz and Veronica Riera each had eight points for Cleveland (12-8, 9-6 Queens I-B), which clinched a playoff spot.
Renaissance 41, Newtown 36. Danielle Tharrington had 12 points, four assists and two steals and Pena chipped in six points, seven rebounds and two blocks for Renaissance.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.