By Dylan Butler
Joe Lewinger said it was the quickest post-game speech he had ever delivered. The coach of the Mary Louis basketball team spent less than a minute with his team after the Hilltoppers’ 62-47 loss to Bishop Loughlin Sunday at Queens College.
“Big-time game, one team showed up, another team didn’t show up,” he told his team.
Nothing more needed to be said.
In its biggest game of the year, a game Mary Louis had to win to clinch the No. 5 seed in the upcoming Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan tournament, the Hilltoppers were outhustled, outmuscled and completely outplayed by a more determined, more athletic Bishop Loughlin team.
“The coaching staff thought we were going to have the level of aggressiveness we had the first time we played Loughlin,” Lewinger said, referring to a 55-51 loss Feb. 13. “Instead of being more aggressive, we were actually less aggressive.”
Mary Louis (13-9, 3-8 CHSAA Division I) was the home team, but that was indicted only on the scoreboard. Loughlin (16-6, 8-4) had more fans, was louder — they chanted “who’s house” in the final moments — and the game was even stopped with 4:03 left in the second quarter as Lions senior Janele Henderson was honored for scoring her 1,000th career point.
The Rider-bound senior was presented with balloons and had her picture taken with coach Debbie Mortley.
While Henderson has garnered much of the attention at Loughlin, for a second straight game the Lions had multiple players in double-figure scoring. Sharda King scored a game-high 22 points, including all 12 of her team’s third-quarter points.
“I called a timeout and said, ‘the other team don’t even think you can play,’” Mortley told King after she struggled in the first quarter. “I said, ‘they are backing off of you. That’s total disrespect. That says you’re not worthy enough to get defended against.”
Henderson and Amanda Burnett added 10 points apiece for Loughlin, the No. 3 seed in the Diocesan tournament behind Christ the King and Molloy, which scored a bulk of its points on easy putbacks.
“Almost all their points were on second-chance shots,” Lewinger said of Loughlin. “We have girls getting blindsided on the weak side and instead of protecting themselves ready to box out, they’re standing still.”
Liz Flynn had 11 points, Liza Gallo added 10 and freshman Casey Shevlin added nine for Mary Louis, which can still wrap up the No. 5 seed with a win over St. Francis Prep in the regular-season finale slated for Wednesday night.
If the Hilltoppers fall and Bishop Kearney beats Bishop Ford, Mary Louis and Kearney would play a tiebreaker game to determine the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds.
The fifth-seed would face No. 4 St. Francis Prep while the sixth seed would take on Loughlin in Tuesday’s first round at Christ the King. The top-seeded Royals have a bye until the semifinals.
Bishop Ford 68, St. John’s Prep 40. Meghan Foley scored a team-high 19 points for St. John’s in this non-league loss Monday. Damari Walton led all scorers with 26, while teammate Rashida Mark added 14 points and six assists.
Archbishop Molloy 80, St. Francis Prep 64. The Archbishop Molloy Stanners battled back from a 16-4 deficit behind the long-range shooting of Kerri-Ann Jetter and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude to win convincingly on Senior Night and lock up second place in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan. Gold-Onwude finished with 26 and Jetter added 18, with both hitting four times from beyond the arc. Jessica McEntee chipped in 22 for Molloy (18-5 overall, 10-2 CHSAA), which will face Bishop Ford in the first round of the Brooklyn/Queens Tournament Tuesday at Christ the King.
Christ the King 75, St. John-Vianney (N.J.) 46. The Royals were led by Tina Charles, who scored a game-high 26 points in this non-league win Feb. 18. Lisa Manetta and Nakejia Kelly added 13 apiece as CK improved to 21- overall.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.