By Joseph Staszewski
Christ the King returned to its perch atop the city by winning a second straight CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens basketball title and its first Catholic Class AA state crown since 2010. The Royals fell a win shy of claiming another state Federation title, losing to Long Island Lutheran.
A senior-laden Archbishop Molloy team, which owned a national ranking during the year, posed the biggest threat to CK and reached its first CHSAA ‘AA’ state finals since 2008. Up and coming Mary Louis nearly knocked the Royals off in the diocesan semifinals.
Francis Lewis didn’t repeat as PSAL Class AA champions, but reached the semifinals despite an up and down campaign. It took a buzzer beater to keep Monsignor McClancy from its first CHSAA Class B state title game.
Plenty of special players were a part of those squads and others throughout Queens. Here is a look at those dubbed the borough’s best.
All-Queens Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year
Dominique Toussaint, Christ the King
The Royals were a much more dangerous team with the junior guard at her best. The tough-minded Toussaint battled through some injuries this season, but remained CK’s most consistent players as it reached the state Federation Class AA final. She averaged 21.5 points, 3.2 assists and 6.4 rebounds per contest and was one of the city’s best defenders. Toussaint scored 14 of her team-high 28 points in the fourth quarter of a Federation semifinal victory against South Shore.
All-Queens Girls’ Basketball Coach of the Year
Bob Mackey, Christ the King
Many thought this was a year Christ the King could fall back to the pack with Molloy senior laden and Loughlin loaded with young talent. Instead, Mackey led a balanced CK team to one of it most successful seasons in recent years. The Royals won the diocesan and CHSAA state AA title and reached the Federation title game for the first team since 2010. Mackey fostered gradual improvement from this Christ the King team and meshed its role players perfectly with its emerging trio of stars.
All-Queens First Team
G Robyn Francis, Francis Lewis
The senior had her best season in a Patriot uniform. She was their most consistent player during a year that saw the team’s play continuously go up and down. The LIU-Post bound Francis averaged 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.12 assists. Francis often willed her team to important wins.
G Kaitlyn Mahon, Archbishop Molloy
The veteran point guard was the guiding force for the Stanners. Mahon, who is headed to Queens College, displayed toughness and smarts on both ends of the floor. Mahon averaged 10 points and five assists per contest for a Molloy team that garnered a national ranking early in the season.
F Aryn McClure, Archbishop Molloy
The Quinnipiac-bound forward put herself among the upper echelon of players in New York City. McClure did everything on the court, especially in the paint. She averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks a contest. McClure scored 11 points and took a huge charge late to send the Stanners to their first CHSAA state final since 2008.
F Kaela Kinder, Christ the King
Kinder lived up to CK coach Bob Mackey’s calling her the ‘X-factor.’ The junior forward tuned up her game late in the season, becoming the Royals’ best rebounder. Kinder averaged 13.8 points and 8.9 boards a contest. Kinder scored 19 points and 16 rebounds to powered Christ the King to a diocesan crown.
G Sydney Zambrotta, Christ the King
The junior guard was the Royals’ leading scorer at 23.4 points per game. Zambrotta can score in flurries, but her finest hour came with her best defensive effort. Her finest game at CK came in the CHSAA state final. She had 32 points, six rebounds and took two key offensive fouls late in the contest.
All-Queens Second Team
G Chi La Bady, Francis Lewis
Bady played the game with a determination and competitiveness few could match. The Mercy College-bound guard averaged 13.8 points per contest and helped the Patriots reach the PSAL Class AA semifinals.
G Jasmine Brunson, Mary Louis
Brunson didn’t disappoint in her first varsity season for Mary Louis. The junior’s aggressiveness on both ends of the floor was contagious. She averaged 16.0 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals per contest.
F Kadijiah Dickson, Mary Louis
The senior came back from an ACL injury and returned to the upper echelon of players in the city. Dickson was superb in TMLA’s semifinal loss to CK in the diocesan semifinals. She averaged 20 points and 10.0 rebounds a game.
G Sierra Green, Francis Lewis
Green couldn’t replicate her stellar sophomore season, but she remained one of the borough’s top players. The junior turned it up in the playoffs after an up and down year. She went from averaging 11 points per game to 15.8 in post season.
F Emily Peckham, Archbishop Molloy
The senior continually improved throughout her career and turned in her best campaign this year. Peckham averaged eight points and 10 rebounds a contest and became a real force in the paint for the Stanners.
G Taylor Aybar: Monsignor McClancy
G Debra Chan, Townsend Harris
G Kate Gerodias, Forest Hills
C Ashlie Howell, Christ the King
G Simone Khedaru: St. John’s Prep
G Theresa Leung, Bayside
G Emma Michaels, The Scholars Academy
G Emer Maloney, Molloy
F Sofia Recupero, St. Francis Prep
G Monica Zhivanaj, St. Francis Prep