2001-03-24 / Sports

S.F.D.S. Rookie Girls Win B-Ball Marathon Contributed by Peter Casey

S.F.D.S. Rookie Girls Win B-Ball Marathon
Contributed by Peter Casey

Boxing enthusiasts consider the infamous Thrilla in Manilla as the best example of a brutal slugfest between two warriors who refused to lose.

Local basketball enthusiasts will now have the Championship game of the 2001 SFDS Peggy Boyle Memorial Tournament Rookie Division as their Thrilla in Manilla.  In what was either a stroke of scheduling genius or pure luck, the final game of the tournament's Championship Sunday was a rematch between the three-time CYO Diocesan Champion SFDS Rookie Girls and their archrivals from St. Adleberts.

Everyone expected a tremendous battle, as the game would be the fourth time this year that the two teams have met.  It was clear that the St. Adleberts girls were determined to even out the season series.   No one could have predicted though that the game would turn out to be a 54-52 double-overtime, knock-down-drag-out-slugfest which saw the SFDS Girls win the tournament's championship for the fourth year in a row.  Not only did the team win, but it did so while playing the last two minutes of the first overtime, as well as the entire second overtime, with only four girls against St. Adleberts five since four of the SFDS players fouled out of the game. One more whistle against Erin Casey, who played the fourth quarter and both overtimes with four fouls without losing any aggressiveness, would have meant SFDS would have to finish the game three on five.  Even at 3 on 5, the way Kristi Moore, Katie Pastina and Alyson Lee St. Francis De Sales looked pretty tough.  Peggy Boyle was their first basketball coach as third graders and these girls believe that no one will claim the championship from them.

The game was a classic see-saw battle in which the lead changed hands many times.  Every time Corinne Howley would hit a three-point jump shot, St. Adleberts would respond with one of their own.  Adleberts would match fast break layups by Jill Brady and Mary Grace Brady.  Scores by Adleberts would be matched by steals and fast breaks by Kristi Moore especially in the second overtime.  Neither team could build a lead of more than five points and it seems like every time the lead hit five, the other team would hit a three pointer and bring it right back to a two point game.  In one of the more unbelievable shots of the game, St. Adleberts’ star player hit a half-court three pointer just as SFDS thought the game might have been won.

The battles for rebounds and loose balls were truly amazing to watch. Katie Pastina and Alyson Lee wanted every rebound and once Alex Biddescombe got her hands on a rebound or loose ball, no one was stripping it away from her.  She, no doubt, has some bruises from being tossed to the floor by bigger girls but refused to give up the ball.  Alex has blossomed into a very aggressive player.   Kristi and Jillian and Mary Grace spent half the game diving to the floor for loose balls.   Erin and Alex did a great job in helping beating the Adlebert's press.

In a case of what Yogi Berra would call deja vu all over again, St. Adleberts and the fans felt that they were watching a replay of the Diocesan Championship game as Jill Brady and Katie Pastina made huge foul shots with the game on the line.  This time, Erin Casey and Alyson Lee showed that they were equal to the task as they buried big foul shots as well.  All the girls played tremendously tough in the game and the whole team made huge contributions.

After the game, Corinne Howley and Kristi Moore were named to the All-Tournament Team.  Katie Pastina was awarded the Most Valuable Player Trophy and Alex Biddescombe was awarded the Sportsmanship Trophy. The parents made a special presentation after the game acknowledging the hard work and dedication put forth by Charlie Brady who had put in numerous hours coaching the girls to their first two Diocesan Championships and first three Peggy Boyle Championships and to Peter Casey who coached the girls this year.

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