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Francis Lewis hands Cardinal Spellman first loss at Rose Classic Super Jam

By Joseph Staszewski

Francis Lewis’ main goal is to win a PSAL Class AA city championship, but it also wants to show it is one of the best girls’ basketball teams in New York City along the way. That means winning big non-league games along with its division games.

An impressive 66-52 victory over previously unbeaten Cardinal Spellman during the Rose Classic Super Jam at Nazareth Sunday is exactly what they were looking for.

“They were undefeated and we were trying to make a statement because we are young,” Francis Lewis sophomore guard Sierra Green said. “We want teams to know we are coming for them.”

She scored 12 of her 18 points in the first quarter. Robyn Francis tallied 12 points and Chi La Bady added 10 for Lewis (16-1). Jade Vega paced Spellman (13-1) with 16 points and Niajah Morgan added 14. The Patriots, and especially Bady, bottled up Michigan-bound wing Maria Backman and held her to just seven points.

“Maria is such a piece of their team,” Lewis Coach Steve Tsai said. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t get hurt. I think we did a good job of that.”

The Patriots led by eight after the first quarter and scored the first six points of the second to grab a 29-18 lead. Bady had her way attacking the hoop in the middle two quarters.

“She kept getting to the basket,” Green said.

Lewis led by as much 53-35 midway through the fourth quarter after Green buried her fourth three-pointer of the game, converted a layup and Robyn Francis drove to the hoop for two to thwart any hope of a Spellman comeback.

St. Rose (N.J.) 60, Archbishop Molloy 40: Aryn McClure and Taylor Ilishaev Kurs scored 11 points each for Archbishop Molloy at the Rose Classic Super Jam. Nyasha Irizarry added seven points.

Molloy expected St. Rose, one of New Jersey’s top teams, to be physical on defense, but they were more aggressive than anticipated. The Stanners never looked comfortable offensively.

“We have played a lot of physical teams so far,” McClure said. “We have to get use to being aggressive back.”

Molloy (8-7) survived a hard-luck shooting first half down just 25-15, but was eventually undone by a hot shooting St. Rose team, which connected on 10 three-points in the game.

Kat Phipps led the Purple Roses with 20 points and helped give them a 44-21 lead after three quarters.

The Stanners were coming off a 70-64 victory over Osborne (Ga.) Saturday. Irizarry scored a game-high 26 points and Kaitlyn McMahon in the win.

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