By Joseph Staszewski
Mary Louis Coach Joann Arbitello felt it was time for her team to pick up a signature win after an inconsistent start.
The Hilltoppers earned a major one by knocking off visiting Nazareth 44-42 in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls’ basketball Wednesday night. Kadijah Dickson scored eight points, including a three-point play with under a minute to play to put TMLA up for good. Nazareth missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with eight seconds left in the game to seal the victory.
“I think it’s important we have a win like this in the league because it sets the pace for upcoming games,” said Arbitello, who is in her first season. “We had to start playing big so we can get wins like this.”
Mary Louis jumped ahead early as Simon Hobdy scored the bulk of her 14 points in the game’s opening stages. The Hilltoppers (5-4, 1-2) were up as many as 13 late in the second quarter and by 10 at the half. The fast start was important against a talented Nazareth (6-3, 1-2) team, even if it was playing without star guard Bianca Cuevas.
“She set the tone and then everybody else fell into place.” Arbitello said.
The coach credited Kim Myers with doing the blue-collar tasks, rebounding, boxing out and taking charges. Kate Goldman added seven points as the Hilltoppers were without point guard Deja Taitt for disciplinary reasons. Mary Louis packed in a 2-3 zone against Nazareth, the defending CHSAA Class AA state champion.
“We did a great job bumping the cutters,” Arbitello said.
A win like this will likely boost Mary Louis’ confidence moving forward, but there isn’t too much time to enjoy as they host Bishop Loughlin Monday in a rematch of last year’s CHSAA Class A state final, won by the Lions.
Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.