Krsolvic, Crusaders escape Fontbonne scare

By Joseph Staszewski

Kristina Krsolvic earned an important victory for her McClancy team—and more playing time for herself in the process.

The Crusaders held off visiting Fontbonne Hall 50-48 in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division II girls’ basketball Feb. 1 to earn a firm hold on first place. Krsolvic, a sophomore, scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds while filling in for injured starter Kenia Gracia. Her three-pointer with 2:21 left in the game tied the score at 48-48, before two free throws from Kaitlyn Stenz put the Crusaders up for good. She has earned the trust of her coach.

“The issue with Kristina is I underestimate her too much,” McClancy coach Dewey Hopkins said. “She came up big the other day at Kennedy Catholic and she did come up big again today. She is not used to seeing these type of minutes, but moving forward she is going to get a lot of minutes.”

Krsolvic scored six straight points during an 8-1 McClancy run late in the third quarter that helped her team take a 38-37 lead into the fourth. She attacked the openings in the paint at a point where the offense was getting stagnate.

“I just saw the lane open and I was either going to get a foul or a basket,” Krsolvic said.

Gina Hopkins and Taylor Aybar each had eight points and Stenz chipped in seven points and 10 rebounds.

Junior wing Meghan Glynn paced the Bonnies with 16 points, including three 3-pointers and Katie Marquardt chipped in 11. Fontbonne’s hot shooting from the outside kept it in the game.

Fontbonne, which controlled the game’s pace for most of the night, forced Hopkins to use starting forward Gracia early in the fourth quarter after trying to hold her out with a sprained ankle.

The Bonnies (10-7, 5-3) went up by three early in the frame on a trey from Marquardt (11 points). They pushed their lead to 48-45 on a Breanne McDonnell three with 3:28 to play in the game.

McClancy (18-2, 9-0) scored the game’s final five points and had to hold its breath as Fontbonne got two good looks at the tying basket in the closing seconds. Stenz’s free throws were the difference.

“I just got to the line and said I’m going to knock them down tonight,” she said.

The Crusaders won the battle in the paint. It garnered them second-chance points and a key fourth-quarter bucket from reserve Grace Broderson on an inbounds play with the shot clock winding down.

The victory came two days after McClancy topped Kennedy Catholic 51-50, but this one held greater importance. It maintained its two-game lead over Bishop Kearney for first place and the first varsity division title in the program’s four-year history.

“It means a lot being the first graduating class of girls for the seniors,” Stenz said. “They worked hard for all four years. To get there would be really great.”

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