Toussaint, Royals beat Moore in season opener

By Joseph Staszewski

Dominique Toussaint spoke in the preseason about how anxious she was to do more to help her team win. The Christ the King junior guard couldn’t wait to get on the court for the Royals’ season opener against Moore Catholic.

In her mind, a good start was needed for both her and her team. They didn’t disappoint.

Toussaint scored a game-high 25 points as the Royals routed the visiting Mavericks 58-33 in a CHSAA girls’ basketball crossover game in Middle Village Sunday afternoon. She also added five rebounds and three steals. The game was personal for her as a Staten Island native and knowing many or Moore’s players.

“I had to step up big time today,” Toussaint said. “I felt I did that.”

It wasn’t just how much Toussaint scored, but how she did it that was impressive. She’s always been known as a defensive specialist and a strong ball handler who can get to the basket. Toussaint did all of that against Moore, but also consistently made jump shots, something that could make her that much harder to guard.

“We know she can get to the rim,” CK coach Bob Mackey said. “Now she can hit the short jumper. She has been shooting threes. You know what, she has really been able to step it up.”

Christ the King, playing without starting junior guard Sydney Zambrotta (foot), raced out of the gate against the Mavericks (2-1). It went on a 20-0 run over the first and second quarters to grab a 26-5 lead. The Royals pushed it to 29-9 in the closing minutes of the frame and never looked back.

They got exactly what they hoped out of junior Kaela Kinder while doing so. She tallied 12 points and grabbed five rebounds getting to the hoop off the dribble with ease and using her athleticism to continually be a factor on the glass. Kinder knows her playing well allows everyone else’s game to fall into place. She is happy to make it happen.

“I love the spotlight,” Kinder said. “That’s what gets you going. It’s all about being relaxed and focused.

Ashlie Howell scored six points and had five rebounds for Christ the King. She and Jully Medna did an excellent job helping to keep Moore center Dina Motrechuk, a Rhode Island commit, to just 14 points. Raven Dowling and Evy Coles both played well for CK in an effort that saw the bulk of the roster get involved.

It all added up to Toussaint and the Royals getting what they wanted, a good start for a group looking to prove it can handle the program’s high expectations.

“I can’t ask for any more,” Toussaint said of how CK began the season. “I know people were doubting us with all the lost seniors, but I think this proved we can play just as well as they do.”

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