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Archbishop Molloy bitten by Cougars

Archbishop Molloy bitten by Cougars
Christ the King junior Ariel Edwards (l.) and sophomore Nia Oden fight for the ball with St. Mike’s players bearing down. – Photo by Damion Reid/Five Boro Sports
By Five Boro Sports

OYSTER BAY, L.I. — Senior forward Nicole Marciniak emerged from the Archbishop Molloy locker room with a fat lip, a bruised right hip and left knee and cramps in her right ankle.

“We took a big beating,” Marciniak said. “I’m all beat up. Everyone took their fair share.”

Especially on the scoreboard.

For the second straight year, the Stanners were unceremoniously ousted from the CHSAA Class AA state tournament by defending champion St. John the Baptist. The Cougars forced 26 Stanners’ turnovers, got out in transition and cruised to a 50-27 win in the quarterfinals at St. Dominic High School on Friday night. Marciniak scored nine points and grabbed 10 boards. Guard Shannon LaVelle had six points and Kyra Aloizos and Kelly Guerriero each had four points.

“They were all I can say up in your face defense and pressure,” Molloy junior point guard Marielle Duryea said. “… Off that defense they got transition off a couple of sloppy passes. That killed us.”

Molloy trailed by just four points early, but St. John the Baptist went on a 15-2 run, capped by a transition layup from Rutgers-bound forward Christine Huber, who had 15 points and 14 rebounds, to take a 23-6 lead with 5:03 left before halftime. The Stanners trailed 32-12 at the break on Christine Bosco’s buzzer-beating layup. Bosco had nine points and Alexis Smith added eight for the Cougars (21-5).

“We didn’t have one run,” Marciniak said.

Molloy Coach Tom Catalanotto added: “It was our worst game of the year.”

He also pointed out the game was LaVelle’s first action in over a week after hitting her head hard in practice and the senior had also been suffering from a stomach virus. The Stanners (16-11) had not played since Feb. 26 when they lost to Mary Louis in the Brooklyn/Queens semifinals. The Cougars played on March 1.

“I attributed a lot of this to the long layoff,” Catalanotto said. “We were playing two games a week. We were playing our best basketball until we played that game against Mary Louis and we didn’t play bad that game.”

Just not on this night.

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