By Joseph Staszewski
Archbishop Molloy is looking to add another title to its growing list of hardware.
A week after winning the school’s first ever CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls basketball regular season crown, the Stanners will be playing for the diocesan title. Molloy earned that right by taking care of Bishop Loughlin 69Â¬–58 in the league semifinals Thursday night.
“It’s just nice that you could win a championship when you are a senior,” Carolyn Gallagher said.
The Columbia-bound forward did all she could to ensure that chance. Gallagher scored 10 of her 20 points in the second quarter when the Stanners broke open the game. She was super active on the boards to help Molloy (20-6) grab a 30–19 lead over Loughlin with 1:00 left in the frame. A Gallagher jumper pushed it to 48-28 late in the third quarter.
“Carolyn wants this,” Molloy coach Scott Lagas said. “She wants this championship. She’s worked hard to make herself a complete player.”
Gallagher and her teammates put together one of their best efforts of the season with four players in double figures and excellent ball movement. Alexa (Weazel) Dietrich scored 13 points, Nyasha Irizarry had 12 and Amani Tatum chipped in 10. Albany-bound guard Imani Tate paced Loughlin (10-13) with 32 points and Jasmine Alston added 11.
Molloy is scheduled to face Bishop Ford in the final 6 p.m. Saturday at St. John’s Prep. In their last meeting, the first-place tie-breaker game last week, the Stanners were victorious.
“This is probably a good time to be peaking,” Lagas said.
Bishop Ford 64Â¬, Christ the King 50: Sierra Calhoun scored 16 points but was held to just four field goals during a poor shooting night all round for the Royals (19-6), the defending diocesan champions. Ford double-teamed Calhoun every time she drove to the basket.
“She had two in her face almost the whole game,” Royals coach Bob Mackey said. “I was just looking for the next player to step up.”
Shannon Barrett tallied 12 points and Kollyns Scarbrough added nine. Christ the King never found a rhythm offensively with point guard Deja Johnson out with a broken nose she suffered in the quarterfinals against Mary Louis Tuesday. Combine that with 26 turnovers and it didn’t make for a good night for Christ the King.
“It’s tough when you are going against quality guards,” Mackey said.
Aaliyah Lewis scored 22 points and Jill Conroy added 13 for Ford (20-6). The Royals pulled with in 54-33 with 1:27 remaining in the game, but missed free throws and made mistakes that kept them from getting any closer. CK is slated to face Moore Catholic in the CHSAA Class AA state quarterfinals March 6 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Hill.
Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.