2006-02-24 / Sports

Locals Start PSAL/CHSAA High School Basketball Playoffs

By Elio Velez

Stella Maris head coach Maureen Gigliello knows that adjustments are just one integral part of basketball that has to be made. In her 13 seasons at the school, Gigliello has made the right adjustments, which has been profitable for the Lady Flippers winning the CHSAA Division II in the three times in the past four years.

With the whole squad returning, familiarity and camaraderie were some of the keys for Stella Maris to go undefeated at 14-0 and win the regular season championship.

But it was a move at mid-season that solved the team’s offensive problems which had plagued them early in the year. Gigliello wanted the rest of the team to be confident in contributing points, which would take the burden off of all-time leading scorer and Jennifer Anglero.

“In the beginning of the season, I knew everyone would come back one player, but they didn’t have the confidence to look to make a difference on offense,” Gigliello said.

After a tight two point win on the road at second place Fontbonne Hall in mid-January, the head coach and their players got together and made some moves. Instead of scraping by to get 40 points per game, the offense improved their output to 60 after that win.

Alexa Rosella, who started the year at point guard, was switched to the small forward spot to take advantage of her 5 foot 9 height and her outside shooting skills. Cat Rudden was moved from shooting guard to point and has fit quite nicely. Mel Jablonski has added a defensive presence and Erin Casey can shoot three pointers from the outside with more effectiveness. The team’s depth off the bench has worked.

Gigliello is surer of her team’s comfort level in all facets of the game than she was in the beginning of the season. It has given them an edge for when they start the Division II playoffs on Thursday at St. John’s Prep. The Lady Flippers have a bye in the first round . Stella is the heavy favorites to repeat but Gigliello will not have a letdown happen on her watch.

“It’s a senior team but sometimes we can be our worst enemy. We have a good comfort level and confidence. If we do that, we have enough to accomplish our goal.”

Dolphins Travel To Arsdale

The Beach Channel men’s team has had a lot of time to practice for Van Arsdale, who will be their opponent in an outbracket playoff game on Tuesday, Almost four weeks ago, the Dolphins played their final regular season game, a 55-52 loss to Van Buren on February 4. The only opponent that they faced was their own teammates in practice and a scrimmage against playoff bound Telecommunications High School.

So by now, you would think the Dolphins are just itching to get to the court. But the waiting hasn’t been negative according to assistant head coach Morris Johnson.

“We’ve been practicing hard and it’s been a pleasure that the guys still feel like they want to win,” Johnson said. Van Arsdale, the #19 seed that finished 12-2 and second place behind undefeated Banneker in the Brooklyn II A division.

Kearney Take First Step

Bishop Kearney starts their bid on Tuesday to get to the Federation Tournament as the #2 seed plays #7 St. Francis Prep in the first round of the CHSAA Division I Class A championship. Christ the King is the #1 ranked team and is still undefeated at 21-0 this season.

Woodmere Slams Upper Room

Lawrence Woodmere Academy (19-3) kept their impressive season going with an 80-52 win over Upper Room on February 15 to win the Independent Private Parochial School Athletic League Championship. Josh Marshall scored 31 points and Tyrone Nash added 18.

Locals Push Midwood

The contributions of Megan McKenna, Celeste Roberts and Michell Cashen have been invaluable for a resurgent Midwood Lady Hornets team. They have joined Stanford bound guard Melanie Murphy to become PSAL Brooklyn A-1 co-champions and the eighth playoff spot.

Cashen averaged 9 points and 9 rebounds per game, McKenna has averaged 14 points per game and Roberts has provided a defensive spark. Midwood will take on Lehman in the second round on Wednesday at 5 p.m. Celeste’s sister Courtney currently is the senior forward for the Frank Sinatra School of Arts Lady Legends, whose team made the PSAL B playoffs. She averaged 12 points and 9 rebounds a game and takes on Thurgood Marshall Academy on Tuesday.

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