2005-12-02 / Sports

Lady Dolphins Look To Climb Standings

By Elio Velez

The quick and tenacious point guard on the floor for Beach Channel against Bayside last Tuesday stole the attention and the game in the first quarter.

Point guard Antoinette Jolly was the catalyst in leading the Dolphins to a quick 20-6 first quarter lead and an eventual 67-44 drubbing of their Queens divisional rivals.

The sophomore continued her improvement from last season as she compiled a triple-double with 12 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. She narrowly missed double figures in assists as her eight steals terrorized a young Bayside offense.

In the first quarter alone, Jolly scored six points, dished four assists and three steals. Her all-around game has already pleased head coach Victor Nazario. But it’s her positive workmanlike demeanor Nazario says that gives Jolly an edge over most point guards.

“Academically she’s no nonsense and that kid has so much heart, Nazario said. “She has so much heart it’s so hard to match. That kid can beat anybody off the dribble. She’s so fast. Her ball handling skills are phenomenal.”

Jolly isn’t the only player who can improve on her performance this season. Nazario has his entire starting five of Jolly, Cynthia Wolfe, Tanya Nelson, Tiffany Wilson and Jasmine Strong returning with a much needed year of experience already notched in their belt.

Nazario has high hopes. He is expecting his team to be more prepared to handle Queens divisional rivals Cardozo, August Martin and Francis Lewis. He says that 10 wins should get them in the playoffs.

It’s a more optimistic feeling than Nazario had on January 12 of this year. At the midway point of the girls basketball season last year, Beach Channel were struggling to save their season.

A brand new team had problems adjusting to the rigors of moving up from the PSAL ‘B’ League to the tougher ‘A’ Queens Division. Starting out at 2-7, a young team could have just folded their tent with five games left in the season and quit.

But the Dolphins would not give up and won the last five games of the season to make the playoffs.

“They fought tooth and nail and fought to the very end,” Nazario said.

“It was a nice experience to go to the playoffs. We made it to the first round and it was something that totally and completely unexpected.”

Some team members believe that with their improvement and close camaraderie on and off the court, they believe they can win up to 10 games.

For that be a realistic achievement, the Dolphins will need their anchor in the middle, Jasmine Strong, to be a consistent force inside the point.

Nelson has the ability to connect on her outside shots, Wilson is one of two seniors who can rebound and Wolfe is effective on both ends of the floor.ith a roster that has swelled to 15 players,

Nazario wants some bench players to make an impact. One player who can rise to the top of the pack is freshman forward Precious Hills, who made a nice statement in her first game.

Starting at center, the 5 foot 8 forward scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

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