By Anthony Bosco
The Christ the King girls’ varsity basketball team won its 20th consecutive Catholic High School Athletic Association Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan championship Sunday night, defeating Archbishop Molloy, 54-46, at St. Francis College in Brooklyn.
The eight-point margin of victory was the third time in as many contests this year between the two rivals settled by less than 10 points. But this matchup, which had no bearing on the upcoming CHSAA state playoffs, may have been the most lopsided win of the bunch.
“I thought we played well. I thought we did some good things,” said Christ the King head coach Bob Mackey. “They’re a good team, they played well, but I think we showed again that we are the best team in the league. The defense was tremendous and that’s what made the difference. Defense wins championships.”
But early on, Molloy seemed poised to make a run at an upset of the nationally ranked Royals. Four players scored for the Stanners in the first period, which saw them take an 11-10 lead into the second quarter.
Led by Tina Charles, Carrem Gay and Meka Werts, the Royals controlled the tempo and tone of the game from the second quarter on, never letting the Stanners get comfortable and keeping the Briarwood school’s potent three-point attack virtually useless.
“We had to hit our shots to win today,” Molloy head coach Marty Towey said. “A lot of three-point shots we put up just didn’t go. For us to win we had to have a hot day.”
After E.J. Dreyer hit from just inside the arc to open the second, CK went on an 8-0 run — four from Charles and four from Gay — to take an 18-13 lead. Molloy’s Rosalyn Gold-Onwude countered with four points of her own, but Gay scored the final four of the half to give CK a 24-17 lead into the break.
After Molloy cut the lead to four on baskets by Gold-Onwude and Jessica McEntee early in the third, CK stepped up its game and began to take over. A 12-1 run over a 4:30 span saw CK take a 42-27 advantage before Molloy cut it to 10 when Gold-Onwude converted the old-fashioned three-point play with 33.5 left in the quarter.
To their credit, the Stanners never stopped trying to pull even, but they never got there. The Royals, while not pulling away, remained clearly in control throughout, even when Molloy cut its deficit to six with 1:26 to go.
“They’re good, but they can’t match up with us, all 15 players,” Werts said. “There are very few teams in the country that can match up with us.”
Charles led Christ the King with 18 points, followed by Werts with 14. Gold-Onwude paced the Stanners with 16 and Jen Kelleher added 10.
Molloy (20-6) will play St. John the Baptist Friday at Hofstra University in the semifinals of the CHSAA Class A state playoffs at 6:30 p.m. If the Stanners win they will play the team that wins the other semifinal matchup between the Bronx/Manhattan and Buffalo dioceses.
“Our mission is still to win the Class A state championships,” Towey said. “Hopefully this will help us along the way to do that. I don’t think we’re going to see somebody as tough as that from here on in.”
The Royals (24-1) will have to wait until March 21 to play again when they are slated to face off against St. Peter’s at St. John’s University in a CHSAA Class AA state championship game. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Stella Maris 54, St. Edmund Prep 39. The Lady Flippers won their second straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division II title, besting Brooklyn’s St. Edmund Prep Sunday at St. Francis College. Jennifer Anglero and MaryGrace Brady both scored 13, helping the Rockaway school pull away in a game that was tied at 26 at the break.
Christ the King 80, St. Francis Prep 62. The Terriers (13-13) saw their season come to a close last week, falling to the Royals in the Brooklyn/Queens semifinals. Charles and Nakejia Kelly led Christ the King with 28 and 18 points, respectively. Meghan Sullivan paced Prep with 20, followed by Gina Catherall with 13 and Michelle Betos with 11.
Archbishop Molloy 63, Bishop Loughlin 52. The Stanners advanced to the Brooklyn/Queens title game behind 22-point performances by juniors McEntee and Gold-Onwude. Senior guard KerriAnn Jetter chipped in 10 points, while the Lions were led by Janele Henderson with 14.
Stella Maris 63, Fontbonne Hall 33. Anglero scored a game-high 19 points and teammate Natalie DeSanctis chipped in 16 to lead Stella Maris to a semifinal win over the outgunned Fontbonne Hall. Emily Dolan had 14 in a losing effort. St. Edmund defeated St. John’s Prep in the other semifinal.
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.