Stella Maris Flippers Learn Lessons To Win Conference Game
Stella Maris’ Varsity Basketball team learned an invaluable lesson this past Monday on Bishop Loughlin’s court. A lesson on process versus product: one that coaches (and educators for that matter) wrestle with all the time. Realizing that sometimes a 15-point loss can feel better (the process) than winning by 25 (the product). Throughout the season, SM has battled injuries and the mental meltdowns that accompany those injuries (when personnel are forced to take on various roles).
The team had set its sight on St. Thomas Aquinas’ tournament and played against their strongest competition all year but four players short (including 2 starters). A disappointing weekend to say the least. And then came Monday at Loughlin. Not a "product" victory but most definitely a "process" victory. The return of Natalie DeSanctis and Natalia Alexander (to the starting line up) and Nicole San toro and Cynthia Galanos put the Flippers back on track. They erased a 40-point loss back in December to fall short by 15. That loss gave them self-confidence and mental fortitude: both of which were needed on Wednesday vs. league rival St. Edmund.
SM entered the game undefeated in League play while St. Edmund had lost to the Blue and Gold back in December. The fans were not disappointed. A very exciting game that ended with SM winning 66-59. The half ended with SM up 29-27. The first quarter had flowed for SM but the second quarter netted only 10 points, as the team seemed to be a step slow. SE continued their hot shooting and kept pace with SM.
The third saw each team score 14 points but SM was still out of sync with very few fastbreak opportunities and many easy misses. But then came the fourth period and the transition offense returned thanks to the re bounding efforts of Juanita Whyms, Jen Anglero, Natalia Alexander and Erin Casey. The Lady Flippers out scored the Eagles by a mere 5 points in the quarter (23-18) but that included a 12-4 run. The win places SM at 10-0 in League play with 4 games remaining.
SM’s JV also traveled to Bishop Loughlin. They were looking to avenge a 15-point loss and did! The defeat was Loughlin’s first in League play. The team’s first half efforts came from Michelle Raaf, Alexa Rosella, Tara Gleason, MaryEllen Jablonski, Kara Bobby and Mary Carson. Half time score was 20-14 SM. The second half was quite intense and tightly contested as the score see sawed back and forth throughout.
Finally, late in the fourth, SM found some breathing room as they took a 9-point lead. Score at the buzzer, 39-32. Alexa Rosella (15), Michelle Raaf (14), Tara Gleason (5) and MaryEllen Jablonski (5) led SM. The team’s League record is now 10-2.
Flipper Footnotes: Was that an erasable clipboard seen on the Flipper bench the other night? Hint: the first foul shot counts too! Hate to say it but welcome back Forrest. MR listen to my question, just listen, receive: did you saaay the word? At all? ND just how big was that player? EC: how many does it take to guard one block? MGB: you will be sad when they are not around to hit you next year. JA and NA no more pre-game concerts. ND and MR no more pre-game story time. Seniors: my yearly paraphrase, "Do not go gently into that sweet night! Rage, rage, rage".