By Joseph Staszewski
Catherine Lewis finished her third three-pointer with her hand held high and a bounce in her step. That’s never a good sign for the opposition.
“When we are shooting the ball well, people really have a tough time defending us,” the St. Peter’s forward said. “They don’t know whether to focus on the post or the outside.”
The Colgate-bound standout scored 14 points, including four three-pointers, and the Eagles ran their offense to perfection in a 63-46 rout of Francis Lewis at the John F. Kennedy Challenge in the Bronx Sunday. Christine Kline scored 12 points, hit two three-pointers and collected five rebounds. Victoria Jones added 10 points, Jaime O’Hare had nine points and Ashley Motrechuk added eight and seven rebounds.
“We are hard to defend because almost anybody can go double figures,” St. Peter’s Coach Bob Daggett said. “We have five kids and they are almost all averaging 10 points a game.”
Lewis’ three-pointer capped an 11-0, second-quarter run that also included a trey from Kline. The Eagles worked the ball patiently, hit cutters and scored on follows. It’s a discipline Francis Lewis (15-2), one of the city’s best defensive teams, hasn’t seen much of this season.
“Everything is so organized and under control,” Patriots junior Tatiana Wilson said of St. Peter’s. “That was about the best team we played offensively.”
Added Kline: “We just broke them down and ran our plays. We didn’t worry about them.”
Patriots Coach Steve Tsai called his team’s defense “horrendous” and said they lacked communication. He was happy, though, to play a team the quality of St. Peter’s (15-1) at this point in the season to show his team what its weaknesses are with the playoffs on the horizon. Tsai felt Lewis wasn’t aggressive enough early and didn’t show the same fight it has in other games. Wilson scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half and Ayana Duncanson added 12.
“I think once we started getting down, our girls got really frustrated and we started pointing fingers at each other,” he said.
The Eagles’ precision can frustrate teams at times. They led 36-20 at the half and 54-31 after the third quarter. Kline and O’Hare again wreaked havoc on an opposing backcourt. The duo pestered the Patriots’ guards, who are still adjusting to life without UMass-bound point guard Kelly Robinson. Kline and O’Hare made it tough for Lewis to get into its offense at times and turned steals up top into easy baskets on the other end.
“I think Chris and Jamie are the best guard tandem in the city,” Lewis said.
And the Eagles are one of its best and most balanced teams.
“We play a lot of teams that are bigger and faster than us,” Lewis said. “But I think that is what we try to do going into every game — out-execute [them].”
Reach Joseph Staszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org.