Exciting Finishes Help SFDS Advance To Final Four
It was another successful weekend on the hardwood for the SFDS girls.
The Pee Wee H defeated St. Helen 25- 8 to advance to the diocesan semifinals. Kaysea Jenkusky owned the middle scoring 7 points and Maggie Murphy had her best game of the season scoring 7. The girls had a well balanced attack offensively as Shannon Neiswenter had 3, and baskets were made by Caitlin Mullin, Kathleen Walker, and Katie Hughes.
On the defensive end, the Pee Wee H was led by Margaret Murray, Jillian McCabe, Haliegh Twomey, and Ronda El-Sayed. The girls are excited about their semi-final match-up on the 25th on the big stage of Molloy High School against Our Lady of the Snows at 11:15 a.m. The championship game is the following day, 12 p.m., at St. John’s Prep.
The SFDS novice girls advanced to the diocesan Final Four with a 22-14 victory over St. Mary Winfield, avenging two losses to them by a combined 3 points. St. Francis led 12-7 after 3 quarters, but St. Mary scored 5 straight early in the fourth quarter to tie it at 12.
But once again it was the St. Francis girls who went on an 8-0 run midway through the final period. SFDS was led again by Ryan Carlton’s game high 10 points, 6 of those points coming in the decisive fourth quarter.
Alex Dadario’s put back after 3 missed attempts in the paint sealed the game for St. Francis and a trip to the Final Four. Kelsey Flynn, Jillian Howard, and Hannah Harkins kept the press on and held the Winfield girls to only six second half points.
Francesca Agoglia and Rian Courtney added quality play off the bench. Girls look forward to a weekend off before facing Resurrection of Brooklyn in the diocesan semi-finals at 10:00 a.m. on February 25. The championship will start at 1:15 p.m. on February 26, also at St. John’s Prep.
The Bantam team eked out a victory over Good Shepherd by a score of 34-27.
SFDS used a 6-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 16-13 lead going into the third.
In the third quarter, Breanne McDonnell was a one-woman wrecking crew as she scored 8 of the team’s 10 quarter points and made an unbelievably athletic pass to Katie Marquardt who finished the play with a nifty basket to put SFDS up 26-19.
But Good Shepherd had plenty of fight left in them and scored the first 4 points of the last quarter. McDonnell’s free throw (9 points) ended the 4-0 run and then both teams developed a case of “happy feet” for the next two minutes.
Finally, the teams settled down and traded baskets when Grace DeCrescenzo (8 points) converted on a fastbreak and Shepherd scored on an offensive rebound. Up 29-25 with about one minute to go, Katie Marquardt hit her second 3-pointer (8 points).
Shepherd responded with a basket of their own and Grace DeCrescenzo gave SFDS some breathing room with another hard-fought basket. Basketball is a team sport but so often in a game an individual player contributes mightily to the team victory. SFDS had several players come up with offensive gems. However, on the defensive end the star of this game was undoubtedly Maddie McDade. If the adage “offense wins games but defense wins championships” is indeed true and the team aspires to a repeat championship, then they should each take notice of Maddie’s efforts and strive to duplicate them.
The semifinal on February 25 is at 1:15 against Our Lady of Hope at McClancy HS. The championship is at 3:45 on February 26 at St. John’s Prep.
The Rookies had already advanced to the Final Four and play Blessed Trinity at McClancy on February 25 at 2:30. The championship for the Rookie division is at 6:00 on February 26 at St. John’s Prep.
The Intermediates narrowly missed being the fifth St. Francis team in the Final Four as they lost a heartbreaker to St. Gabriel, 33-32 in overtime. A win would have had St. Francis represented in the Final Four in every division. The Bantam Boys dropped a tough one to St. Vincent Ferrer, 41-37. Aidan Donahue led all scorers with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Timothy Connolly was strong in the paint, scoring 9.
This weekend they will travel with the Novice, Rookie and Intermediate boys teams to take on the competition from South Windsor, Connecticut.
The Peggy Boyle Tournament will begin on Saturday, February 25 and run through March 24. The tournament has its biggest field ever and includes 11 teams that have advanced to the Diocesan semifinals in their division.
It should be an outstanding tournament. Look for schedules in next week’s Wave.