Tigers Fall At King Tournament: Dolphins Fight Back
The Eighth Annual Monsignor King Girls High School Tournament in Brooklyn last weekend was the only women’s tournament in the city on Martin Luther King weekend. The eight teams that participated displayed exciting basketball and served as a preview of some possible future playoff matchups.
Coaches use this tournament as a midseason barometer of how teams are playing in their respective leagues. The tournament also featured many connections to the Rockaways.
In the championship game last Monday night, a deep St. Michael Academy team pulled away in the second half to win 61-46 over Bishop Kearney.
A team featuring 6’4 Rutgers bound Kia Vaughn and Anjale Barrett (Tournament MVP), sister of former Seton Hall basketball star Andre Barrett, eventually overwhelmed the Tigers.
“We have our best team collectively even though we’re young,” St. Michael head coach Apache Pascall said. “If we get all the cylinders running together, we’ll compete for a state title.”
Breezy Point’s Cathy Crockett winced often as her Tigers missed numerous opportunities to score from medium and long range.
“We may have been tired because we’ve played three straight games. They are a double ‘AA’ team and we had some good moments. This is one of the top teams in the city. They got great players on that team,” Crockett said.
She was proud that her team throughout the tournament displayed tenacious defense and capitalized on their fastbreak opportunities. Crockett believes strongly that the positives will show up once league play begins after the school completes their midterms.
“We know we can play against anybody. Nobody in our league (CHSAA ‘A’) is that unbeatable. We won four in a row and we got to the finals and we played well. A lot of good things came out of this tournament,” Crockett said.
Midwood High School (10-2) is one team that may once again show up to the semifinals of the PSAL championships as they did in 2004.
With a senior laden team, Rockaway’s Megan McKenna hasn’t seen much time yet on the floor. Head coach Artie LaGreca is positive the sophomore will eventually come off the bench and play important minutes.
“She averaged 17 points at the junior varsity level and I felt she would get valuable experience at this level,” Legreca said. “She is talented and in practice gives great effort and intensity.”
Bishop Ford is strong enough this year to contend with Stella Maris for the CHSAA Division II title. Coach Denis Nolan mixes veterans such as Penn State bound Rashide Mark and five new players to win one game.
Assistant coach Joe Deluca runs the successful Lady Hornets AAU program. The roster of the 10 and 11 year old squads feature many girls from the area.
Madison High School, which is contending with Midwood for the PSAL Brooklyn Girls Title, has assistant coach Vinny Aceto on their bench. He is well known as the host of the highly regarded “On The Sidelines” high school sports program every Thursday at 5 p.m. on WNYE 91.5 F.M.
Mary Louis (5-10), which lost a heartbreaker in the 2004 championship game to St. Michael, finished in last place this year.
“’I’ve won the big game one year, finished last one year and was three points away from winning it,” says head coach Joe Lewinger. “It’s a rebuilding year and we’ll see what happens.”
The Monsignor King All Tournament Team: Melanie Murphy-Midwood, Marissa Flagg-Cardozo, Kristina Triglia-Bishop Kearney, Jill Brady-Bishop Kearney and Kia Vaughn-St. Michael Academy. Madison’s Frances Lyons was the high scorer of the tournament.
Dolphins Fight For Playoff Berth
Last Tuesday, head coach Victor Nazario became incensed at his team’s poor effort. At halftime, the Dolphins looked lost as they were down 18-11 to John Adams. The Lady Dolphins stayed in the locker room for the entire halftime break listening to their coach scold them for a lackluster effort. That scolding was the medicine needed to wake up a dead Dolphins team.
“I just don’t get it they come out so flat. It’s not something I live for. If I have to light up a fire up their butt to get them to play ball the way they’re capable of playing ball, I’ll do it.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. For two quarters of basketball we stunk up the place”, Nazario said.
Looking alive and buoyant, Beach Channel outscored Adams 18-6 in the fourth quarter and hanged on to a 43-36 win. That win improved their record to 5-7. If the Dolphins win against Bayside and John Bowne, they will clinch a playoff berth.
Nazario does not like to yell at his team. After all of the early season woes, he did not want to lose the opportunity to make the playoffs.
“We took better care of the ball. We kicked up the intensity on defense. That’s what we did. Turnovers got the fastbreak going for us. That’s one of the best things about our team is getting on transition and converting defensive steals and getting baskets,” Nazario said.
Nazario will remind people that his Dolphins are very young and are just starting to play well together. They have had to overcome losing numerous players due to graduation and the eventual promotion from the B division to the A division.
The division includes Francis Lewis, who has some of the best players in the city and a tough Cardozo squad. Though at times it can look ragged, the building blocks are there to compete in the next few years.
Point guard Antoinette Jolly scored 12 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, had 5 assists and four steals for the Dolphins.
“She gets a little tired but she plays with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity. She plays so hard for me. I can pull her aside and say hey Antoinette this you doing wrong and she will respond,” Nazario said.
Freshman center Jasmine Strong, who is only 14 years old, grabbed 20 rebounds and scored 10 points.