Stella Maris Caps Championship Win
For a team that went 14-0 in the Catholic High School Athletic Association Division II, it wasn't your typical successful season for the Lady Flippers. Battling through injuries, a mid-season slump and then more injuries, Stella Maris still had enough firepower and talent to win over St. Edmund Prep, 54-39 and capture their second consecutive CHSAA Division II championship.
At St. Francis College, Stella Maris played a tight first half battle with the score seesawing back and forth. The two teams were well acquainted as the Flippers had already beaten the Lady Eagles twice this season.
Tied at 26 in the first half, Stella Maris came out more aggressively m in the second half, especially on the defensive end. The Flippers went on an 11-0 run and would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
"We stepped up the defense a little bit and we trying to feed off of it", Stella Maris head coach Maureen Gigliello said. "We needed some separation and we needed the fast breaks to do it".
The Flippers also took advantage of an unfortunate ankle injury to St. Edmund center Jessica Bouno. While trying to grab for a rebound with Anglero, Bouno crumpled to the floor and did not return to the game.
"We were waiting for the spark and it came. They (St. Edmund) did well in the first half and they hung in there when she (Bouno) went down", Gigliello said.
The Flippers' Jennifer Anglero initiated the run with excellent plays on the offensive and defensive ends. Anglero, who along with Mary Grace Brady led the team with 13 points, was one of the many Flippers who stymied the Lady Eagles. Anglero said that the team knew they had the ability to step it up in the third quarter.
"We got a little more confidence and we felt like we could do it and we said let's go. This is ours", said Anglero.
Stella Maris went through a midseason slump with three non-conference losses in the Monsignor King Tour nament, their leading scorer Natalie DeSanctis to a injured left hand for almost a moth and recent injuries to Natalia Alexander (ACL tear) and Nicole Santoro.
It was determination and perseverance that carried Stella Maris to their second consecutive crown. Coach Maureen Gigliello couldn't have been more proud of the effort that she saw on the floor and all season.
"This is great especially for my seniors that I love so to have the seniors go out like this, it's phenomenal".
Lady Royals Win Again
Christ The King Lady Royals won their 20th consecutive Brooklyn/Queens CHSAA Diocesan Champion ship with a 54-46 win over Archbishop Molloy at St. Francis College last Sunday.
Tina Charles led with 18 points and Meka Warts added 14 points for the Royals who are now 24-1 this season. The Royals will play for the CHSAA AA State Tournament title against St. John Villa or St. Peter's on March 21
"We did some good things", said head coach Bob Mackey. "We showed again that we are definitely the best team in the league and I was very proud of these kids".
"The defense was tremendous and I think that's what the difference and that is what wins championship".
Led by head coach Bob Mackey, a former Rockaway resident, and assistant coach and current Rockaway resident Jill Cook, the Lady Royals incorporated 8 players and a new starting lineup for this season. "I have a lot of confidence in this team and it's a young team". Mackey said.
For a team that has been regarded as one of the best teams in the entire country for years, critics said that the Lady Royals would not be able to duplicate their past success. A 24-1 season and the chance to capture another state tournament title have proven the critics wrong according to Mackey.We've been answering questions all year. We made tremendous improvements all year. This is a brand new team. People think this is Christ the King and it gets old. This ain't old. This is a whole new bunch of kids. They played tremendous".