Locals Help Guide St. Saviour To CHSAA Title Repeat
To get to the championship game, the Pandas first had to play St. John's Prep in the semi-final round of the playoffs and easily defeated them by a score of 62-20.
The Pandas started quickly and took control of the game in the first quarter, leading 13-7 after one period of play. The team increased its lead and led 29-9 at halftime and continued the onslaught by outscoring St. John's 33-11 over the final 2 quarters of play, as 11 of the 12 Pandas scored points in the game.
The victory set up a rematch with Bishop Loughlin, the last team to defeat St. Saviour during the regular season. The championship game started slowly for the Pandas as they fell behind 4-0 early in the contest. But then Rosemary Burke, a Breezy Point resident, took over as she scored 11 of her game high 28 points to help St. Saviour build a 15-9 lead after the first period.
Coach Bob Atanasio, a Rockaway resident, attributes the team's success during the playoffs and regular season to an unselfish offense and a suffocating pressure defense, which limited Bishop Loughlin to one shot most times down the court.
In addition to Burke's 28 points, she also received the Marianne Noonan League Sportsmanship Award for her outstanding play during the regular season.
St. Saviour was also led by Julia Morris 6 points and 8 steals, Kristin Binckes with 7 assists, Clare Kearney, a Breezy Point resident with 4 steals and 4 assists and Danielle Lopez with 12 rebounds.
Also contributing off the bench were Stephanie Hvala with 7 points and Alyson Caiazzo with 6 points. The team's next opponent is Maria Regina of the Bronx in the Catholic State "B" classification semi-finals. If the Pandas advance, they would be playing on Saturday, March 15 at Hofstra University for the "B" Catholic Championship.