2003-02-08 / Sports

Stella Maris Flippers Wins One, Loses One

Stella Maris Flippers Wins One, Loses One

Sometimes in sports as in life when you win one and then lose one, simple arithmetic dictates you are back to square one with a zero net gain. Not true or even close for SM’s Varsity basketball squad over the course of 72 hours last week. The young, talented team (recently touted by Newsday as the possessors of an "exciting season and bright future") had its share of ups and downs, faced adversity as a unit, showed a tremendous amount of heart and earned the respect of the school they represent, their fans and their coach.

Last Friday the team traveled to Staten Island to take on Tottenville High School. The Pirates, perennial Island Championship contenders, and the Lady Flippers have historically played close, competitive games. The same was true this time. Off to a slow start, SM was down 12-3 late in the first quarter. But then outscored Tottenville 6-1 to end the quarter down 13-9. However, the run continued into the second. Stella’s 19-8 quarter was led by Natalia Alexander’s 9 pts, Jen Anglero’s 4 pts and a trey from Marybeth Raphael. With all 10 team members providing quality minutes in the second half (7 scoring and all with steals and or blocked shots) the Lady Flippers sealed the victory by hitting 3 of 4 from the "charity" stripe with under a minute to play. Natalia Alexander led SM with 20 pts. Marygrace Brady and Jen Anglero each had 9. Natalie DeSanctis (7), Marybeth Raphael (5), Nicole Santoro (3) and Liz Jablonski (2) rounded out the game’s scoring. The final score was 56-47.

This past Monday, SM hosted league competitor Font Bonne Hall. SM was out to avenge a 21- point loss back in December. In that game, SM never got on track and the resulting loss was demoralizing for the team. Needless to say there was a lot to overcome. While the Lady Flippers lost this game also (59-55) the score indicates what an exciting game it truly was. Fans from both teams were entertained for the full 32-minute saga. Barring any unforeseen problems for either team, FHA will place first in league competition and SM second.

Once again, off to a slow start SM was down at the end of the first 17-9. Numerous missed high-percentage shot opportunities added up as the deficit increased. In the first, FH’s frontline held the Flippers at bay with strong rebounding efforts. Then in the second, SM wrested control of the boards and used that to outscore FH 24-19 in the quarter. Throughout the second half both teams played even as they each scored 23 points. But that 4- point halftime advantage still loomed at game’s end. The Flippers were led by freshmen Jen Anglero’s 22 and Natalia Alexander’s 21 points. Junior guards Marybeth Raphael and Natalie DeSanctis combined for 16 assists and 11 steals.

So where is that positive net gain you ask? On the court where the young team was able to maintain their composure, stick to a game plan and keep fighting back. And in the lockerroom, after the game, in the eyes are of tired players but now a more mature team.

Flipper Footnotes: All good things come to those who wait. But sometimes things come quicker with a little impatience! MR: enjoyed our after-game chat. Thanks. Congrats to coach John Raphael as he led the V to his first Varsity win at Nazareth (with Mrs. G out sick). Next Tuesday, the teams host St. Edmund. Pre-game ceremonies will include tributes to the senior cheerleaders and 4-year manager and both coaches’ right-hand Sue Brennan. We hope to see everyone there.

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