Should they need a refresher…
By Dylan Butler
Overconfidence shouldn’t be a problem for the Francis Lewis girls’ basketball team heading into the Thursday’s Queens Borough Championship game against a Cardozo team it beat twice this season by an average of 27.5 points.
Should they need a refresher course in the dangers of overlooking an opponent, the Patriots need to just remember last year’s PSAL semifinal loss to Curtis, a team they beat by 12 and 31 during the regular season.
“I understand what we are and I think the one team in Queens that matches up really well with us is Cardozo,” said Francis Lewis coach Mike Eisenberg. “They’re a pretty good team that’s playing well and we didn’t play great against August Martin.”
Francis Lewis (22-4) struggled to defeat August Martin, 56-47 in the borough semifinals Saturday at John Bowne while red-hot Cardozo, which has won nine straight games, including a 75-66 overtime win over Townsend Harris in the other semifinal.
“We’re playing our best basketball of the year and have a lot of confidence,” said Cardozo coach Larry Carradine. “After losing some close games early in the season, we’ve basically won all of them lately.”
The two teams are similar in the sense that neither is deep and both squads have a solid starting five.
But the biggest matchup problem for the Judges, according to Carradine, is in the frontcourt where the Patriots start 5-foot-10 Dawn Coleman, 5-foot-11 Alaina Davis and 6-foot-3 Jessica Fuller.
“No doubt about it, the matchup isn’t great because they’re so big, but we’ve had some success against bigger teams this year,” he said. “We have to play smart vs. Lewis and be patient and get some good looks at the basket.”
The Patriots, a near lock for the No. 2 seed for the upcoming citywide playoffs behind three-time defending champions Murry Bergtraum, have yet to lose to a PSAL team and are led by James Madison-bound Jasmin Lawrence, who became the all-time leading scorer in Francis Lewis history Saturday.
The senior guard had 13 points to increase her total to 1,155.
Dawn Coleman led the way with 14 points and 14 rebounds and point guard Diatiema Hill added 13 points and six assists for the Patriots.
Nicole Michael had a game-high 23 points and 17 rebounds and Shaneice Johnson had 13 points for August Martin, which led 22-19 at the half.
The strength of Cardozo (16-8) is its solid and balanced starting lineup, featuring guards Marissa Flagg and Lekesha Harris and forwards Leah Lipschitz, Britni Bolden and Nicky Oyesile.
In the overtime win over second-seeded Townsend Harris, led by Bolden (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Oyesile (18 points, 19 rebounds), the starting five accounted for 74 of the Judges’ 75 points.
Shanay Freeman had 25 points and nine rebounds and Katie Driscoll added 18 points and six assists for the Hawks, who were held scoreless in the five-minute overtime period.
“They’re similar to us, they’re not real deep and they have five good players,” Eisenberg said of Cardozo. “They have two really good guards and their three up front may not be as big as us but they certainly play a similar game.”
Townsend Harris 71, Richmond Hill 49. Katie Driscoll had 29 points and Shanay Freeman added 26 for Townsend Harris in a first round Queens Borough Championship game Friday. Helen Marte had 20 points for Richmond Hill.
Francis Lewis 74, Van Buren 32. Hill had 19 points and nine rebounds, Coleman had 18 points and seven rebounds and Lawrence added 12 for the Patriots in a first round Queens Borough Championship game Friday.
August Martin 55, Beach Channel 40. Michael led the Angels with 29 points and 16 rebounds in a first round Queens Borough Championship game Friday.
Cardozo 67, Long Island City 36. Oyesile had 19 points and 16 rebounds, Flagg added 12 points and Lipschitz had 11 for the Judges in a first round Queens Borough Championship game Friday. Latoya Noblin led LIC with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Flushing 54, Academy of American Studies 51. Jazmin Bradley scored a game-high 21 points and Marilyn Jones added 13 for Flushing (7-12 Queens II-B) while Ilda Rastoder led American Studies (5-14 Queens II-B) with 16 points and Anita Rastoder and Shantal Roopnarine added 11 apiece.
John Bowne 75, Robert F. Wagner 53. Tacheyana Brown had 27 points and Chantal Biscette added six points and 19 rebounds for John Bowne (17-1 Queens II-B) while Dorcas Carlo led Robert F. Wagner (8-11 Queens II-B) with a game-high 29 points and Shianne Carpenter added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Renaissance 53, Forest Hills 46. Danielle Tharrington had 20 points and Brandee Williams added 10 points for Renaissance (13-6 Queens II-B). Betina Madrid had 18 points for Forest Hills (11-8 Queens II-B).
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.