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OLBS ninth-grade girls’ basketball team wins championship

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament’s ninth-grade Cadet girls’ basketball team won the Queens Diocesan Championship, beating Corpus Christi in a tightly contested defensive game, 38-30, Feb. 22 at Christ the King High School.

This was the first championship for this OLBS team. Most of the girls have been together since kindergarten and have made the playoffs every year, but the closest they had gotten was a semi-final berth when they were in the fourth grade. The game was nip and tuck — after the first quarter the score was tied at 8, at halftime OLBS led 19-15, after the third OLBS led 27-22 and the final was 38-30.

OLBS has never beaten Corpus Christi in the regular season in six years. In 2004 they won both meetings and the championship game. With only six girls on Corpus Christi’s team, they showed a true competitive spirit that will never be forgotten.

OLBS was led by Patricia Zillas (Mary Louis varsity) with 15 points; Rocio Sanchez (St. Francis Prep junior varsity) with nine points, Nicole Rose (Mary Louis junior varsity) with six points; Nicole Lana (St. Mary’s Manhasset varsity) with six points; and Cathy Sierra (Francis Lewis) with two points.

Ashley Gonzalez (St. Francis Prep) led all rebounders with 12 boards. Michelle Giraldo (JHS 194), Kristina Marzocco (Mary Louis), Kathryn Kneipp (St. Francis Prep), Kimberly Hom (Bronx High School of Science) and Deeana Mans (IS 25) were all key contributors in the playoff run and an undefeated regular season.

Hard work, believing in the system and never quitting prevailed and culminated with a truly magical and memorable championship season.

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