By Joseph Staszewski
Queens’ top programs were again major trophy contenders this season, and Monsignor McClancy officially put itself on the map.
Christ the King was again the best team in New York City, but fell short of winning its first state Federation Class AA crown since 2010. The Brooklyn/Queens champion was upset by St. Anthony in the CHSAA state semifinals.
Francis Lewis couldn’t give its seniors a storybook ending either after reaching the PSAL “AA” title game for the second time in three years, falling to South Shore at Madison Square Garden. Bayside saw its championship hopes and an unbeaten league season ended by Lehman in the PSAL “A” championship game.
While other teams came up a bit short, McClancy finally got over the hump. The senior-laden Crusaders won their first Division II diocesan title and CHSAA Class B state crown, before a heart-breaking loss in the Federation semifinal.
All that success comes from having a talented crop of players. Here are the best of the best from the borough:
All-Queens Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Dominique Toussaint, Christ the King
The Virginia-bound guard has come a long way in her career, culminating with a great senior season. She was named New York State’s Miss Basketball and Gatorade state player of the year. Toussaint averaged 19.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, while also being her team’s best defender. CK remained the dominant team in Brooklyn/Queens.
All-Queens Girls Basketball Coach of the Year: Dewey Hopkins, Monsignor McClancy
Hopkins saw the fruits of his labor come to fruition after starting the program four years ago. The Crusaders developed into the top program in Brooklyn/Queens Division II, winning both the regular-season and playoff crowns. McClancy then cruised through CHSAA Class B tournament. Hopkins’s high expectations and belief in his players fed their growth.
G Taliyah Brisco, Francis Lewis
The senior point guard had her best season in a Patriots’ uniform and became the club’s vocal leader. Brisco averaged a career-best 11.5 points per game, 4.5 assists and three rebounds per contest. Her toughness willed Francis Lewis to a number of key wins and a trip to the title game.
G Jasmine Brunson, Mary Louis
The Minnesota-bound guard was one of the most explosive players in the city. Brunson made TMLA go on both ends of the floor with her speed and smarts and ability to take over games. She averaged 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals per contest. Her best performance was 28 points in a win against Loughlin.
C Ashlie Howell, Christ the King
The 6-foot-3 Howell built off of her strong finish last season to become a consistent dominant force in the paint for the Royals this season. The St. Peter’s-bound forward, regularly posted a double-and-double to power CK during its stretch run to a diocesan title. Howell averaged 9.5 points and 7.8 rebounds a contest.
F Danielle Patterson, Mary Louis
Patterson, a highly recruited junior, made an immediate impact after transferring from Medgar Evers. She averaged a career-high 22 points and added eight rebounds and two steals per contest to help push the Hilltoppers back into the upper echelon of programs in New York City
G Sydney Zambrotta, Christ the King
The sharp-shooting senior was a key cog in Christ the King’s run to another CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title, averaging 21.2 points per game. Zambrotta, who is headed to Louisville, dropped in a season-high 21 points in a 96-71 victory over Bishop Loughlin in the diocesan title game.
G Sierra Green, Francis Lewis
Green put a subpar junior year behind her to help earn her team another trip to the city title game. The senior, who was often the focus of opponents’ defenses, averaged 17.7 points per game during the regular season.
F Kaela Kinder, Christ the King
Kinder missed time early in the season with a broken foot, but came back with a vengeance. The Virginia Tech-bound wing, who averaged 13 points, returned to score 16 points and grab 11 rebounds in a win over Bishop Loughlin.
F Sofia Recupero, St. Francis Prep
The senior forward was a major force in the Terriers’ continuing progress as a program by averaging 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds. She scored a team-high 16 points to help beat Narareth in a Class A state playing-in game and 15 points in the CHSAA state semifinals defeat.
G Kathryn Gibson, Archbishop Molloy
Gibson came back from a torn ACL to return to the upper echelon of the borough’s players, averaging 14 points and four assists per game. The Molloy College-bound guard’s smarts and sizzling shooting could change games quickly and made each of her teammates better.
G Jenna Mastellone, Archbishop Molloy
The junior enjoyed a breakout season for the Stanners. She was a consistent double-digit scorer, who could do it inside and out. Mastellone, who has a bright future ahead, was also an excellent rebounder.
G Taylor Aybar, Monsignor McClancy
G Danielle DeGuia, Thomas Edison
F Kenia Garcia, Monsignor McClancy
F Emily Johnson, Archbishop Molloy
G Dorothy Matinale, St. Francis Prep
G Courtney McCool, Mary Louis
G Nykiesha Paul, Far Rockaway
G Ashley Quiles, William C. Bryant
F Kendra Sanchez, Bayside
F Dominique Williams, Francis Lewis