The Graybeards and Boys High School divisions took the early spotlight with their championships two weeks ago. This past week saw victors crowned in the Girls Grammar Senior, Boys Grammar Middle and Boys Grammar Senior divisions. With the Men’s and Women’s Open leagues ready to finish this week the focus is now on the Girls High School division. With Rockaway blessed with an abundance of talent in this group, a new approach has been taken to showcase this division by scheduling their season in August. This now allows the girls the opportunity to channel their efforts towards the Summer Classic without outside conflicts.
Opening night was this past Tuesday and those in attendance got a glimpse of what is in store for the month. M.A.R. Mechanical and Goony’s Gunners squared off in the season opener. With its Big Dog, Clare Droesch sitting out the contest completing her injury rehab, Katie Raphael guided M.A.R. as they fought gamely. Janelle McManus led the attack for Goony’s but it took a late flurry from E.J. McElroy to give the Gunners a 21-18 lead at the half. The third quarter continued the stalemate but McManus and company scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter. With the margin at 10 points, Goony’s rested McManus and Erin Dollard and went into cruise control. Not so for M.A.R Mechanical. They turned up the pressure and turned loose Maura McShane and Stephanie Russo. The duo combined for 15 in the period and before Goony’s knew what hit them, M.A.R. gained control. McManus and Dollard reentered but it was too late as M.A.R. Mechanical prevailed 43-38. McShane led all scorers with 17 and Russo added 10. Janelle McManus topped Goony’s with10.
In the second game, Noonan’s Express could not overcome the absence of Lauren Kilduff, returning from North Carolina. Tricia Tubridy displayed the combination of athleticism, skills and energy that she brings to the table and dominated with 20 points and a barrel of rebounds leading Marsh & McClennan to a comfortable win. Vicki Wancel added 10 while St. Francis Prep teammate Liz Fryer paced Noonan’s with 11.
The high school schedule will be densely packed with three games a week followed by playoffs on August 23 and the championship on August 25. August 12 will be a highlight along the way with games at 6:30 and 9:00 sandwiched around the Womens’s Open championship at 7:45. Their playoffs began last Thursday with No Doubt upsetting Kelly’s Waterfront 72-59.
Gizelle scored 18 of her game high 28 to break open what was a one point game at the half. Kelly Fitzpatrick led Kelly’s with 22. Regan McGorry added 18. The second game was a classic. The Irish Circle wore purple and Jameson’s white, but the might as well been wearing the burgundy and gold of Christ the King as each featured Lady Royals stars of different eras. In the first half, Noreen Winterfeldt was unconscious scoring 16 on a variety of post moves and jump shots as the Circle took an early lead. Sue Bird and company countered by spreading the wealth and finished the half strong to take a 29-25 lead. With many in the gym to watch the UConn star, it was CK ’96 co-captains Catherine Tubridy and Jamie Buttner that made the difference. Pam Clemente heated up in the second half as the Irish Circle stayed in the game and the teams traded the lead: Buttner broke out with 12 in the half and blocked a potential game winning shot by Noreen Winterfeldt to force overtime. Tubridy and Buttner combined for eight quick points and the Irish Circle had to play catch up. Sue Bird closed things out with six from the free throw line as Jameson’s advanced 73-60. They now face Healy’s in the semi-finals while No Doubt gets Noonan’s Express. Winterfeldt tallied 29 and Clemente 11 for the Irish Circle. Bird led with 19, while Buttner added 18 and Tubridy 14 for Jameson’s.