Team Effort Powers Stella Maris To First Round Playoff Victory
Back in December, Stella Maris defeated St. Edmund Prep in overtime by one point. Then in February, the Eagles reciprocated by defeating the Flippers by five points. The two competitors faced off in the quarterfinals of the CHSAA Division II Diocesan championship hunt on Tuesday and SM came up big in a 57-36 playoff win in a game held at St. Agnes High School.
Stella once again displayed a complete team effort on defense and offense. 10 Flippers scored and all 13 made the stat sheet by chipping in with an assist, steal and/or rebound. Shannon O’Connor scored 11 points and Jen Miller had nine for number four seed Stella Maris (8-5). Jaci Clyde and Ashley Raaf each dropped in eight points.
The game started with both teams trading baskets. But the end of the first quarter had Jaci Clyde and Alsion McGovern combine for a 7-0 run that gave SM a 14-7 lead. In the second quarter, six Stella players scored which proved too much for the Eagles’ Cassandra Molinari and Ariel Brizard to match (the two combined for 14 of SE’s 15 half points). Stella Maris led at halftime by the score of 30-15.
And then came the third quarter and Molinari decided to put on some show for the fans. She scored nine points in the period but it was more about how she scored them by weaving, bobbing and spinning down the lane.
SM’s coaches were heard to state that was one of the best offensive displays they had seen in quite some time. However, the all out team attack by SM thwarted Molinari’s terrific effort. Six players again scored topped off by Kerry Gleason and Shannon O’Connor each hitting their second three of the night. Going into the fourth quarter, Stella still led 45-27.
The Flippers outscored the Eagles 12-9 in the fourth to take the game 57- 36. Molinari led all scorers with 17 points and Ariel Brizard adding 10 points. Ciara Rayder, who had blistered the Lady Flippers going down the stretch in their five-point loss earlier in the season with her “eagle-eye” outside shooting stroke, was held to one point, but still delivered a determined effort as usual.
Stella Maris faced off against first seed Fontbonne Hall at presstime. The winner of that semifinal contest will compete in the championship game against St. John’s Prep or St. Saviour, which will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Archbishop Molloy High School.
Flipper Footnotes: Players don’t forget your net for the next game and your black sock!
Thanks to so many family, friends, teachers and administrators for attending the final ceremony and net cutting. Happy b-day Mom!