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Cardozo falls to Sheepshead Bay

As strange as it may sound, the Cardozo girls’ basketball team held Sheepshead Bay’s Nastassia Boucicault to just 24 points. With junior Ashley Prager blanketing the Lady Sharks’ senior point guard in the Lady Judges’ diamond-and-one defensive set, Boucicault was not very effective in the half-court game.

But Boucicault still found a way to hurt Cardozo. She scored in transition and found open teammates for open shots as No. 2 Sheepshead Bay cruised to a 71-53 win over Cardozo in the PSAL ‘A’ quarterfinals Saturday at Elmcor.

The Lady Sharks advance to a semifinal date at St. John’s University Sunday with third-seeded Francis Lewis, which defeated Queens rivals August Martin 66-60. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. Sheepshead Bay defeated the Patriots 67-53 Jan. 6 also at Alumni Hall.

“They played very well, they were very quick,” said Cardozo coach Larry Carradine. “We had our chances, but they just shot the ball better and beat us down the court for easy baskets.”

While Prager — who drew the day’s most difficult defensive assignment — did a great job of limiting Boucicault, who had 41 points in the Lady Sharks’ 65-50 first-round win, it was the Lady Sharks’ supporting cast that stepped up against No. 10 Cardozo (18-7). Lashon Knight (15 points), Latoya Steele (12 points) and Mallory Williams (10 points) all proved the Lady Sharks aren’t a one-player team.

“Their big problem is that they forgot about everyone else,” said Sheepshead Bay coach Jeff Caspi. “It was time for others to step up and they did.”

Sheepshead Bay opened up an early 13-2 lead on six quick transition points by Boucicault and carried a 20-10 edge into the second quarter.

It appeared the game would be broken open at any moment, but Cardozo hung in there and, on Shavonne Roundtree’s foul line jumper at the buzzer, the Lady Judges trailed by just nine, 34-25 at the break.

But every time it appeared Cardozo was ready to make a run and take the game over, Sheepshead Bay had the answer. Prager’s 12-footer cut the Lady Sharks’ lead to seven just eight seconds into the third quarter, but a free throw by Boucicault, a three-pointer by Steele and a Boucicault layup stretched Sheepshead Bay’s lead back to 13, 40-27.

Roundtree, who had a game-high 26 points, scored from the right blocks to bring the Lady Judges back to 10, 47-37, but Boucicault finished the third quarter with a layup and opened the fourth with a runner in the lane. Steele’s layup put Sheepshead Bay ahead, 53-37.

“I knew she was tough, but I thought we could handle her,” Prager said of Boucicault. “I was told most of their players were afraid to shoot but [Boucicault] made some excellent passes to set up their other girls.”

John Adams 50, Julia Richman Educational Center 37. The defending PSAL ‘B’ division champs were led by freshman center Dinorah Diaz who had 17 points and 14 rebounds and point guard Nicola Moore, who had 17 points and five steals as the top-seeded Spartans defeated No. 8 JREC at Elmcor Sunday.

Adams (20-3) will face Queens foe Beach Channel, 56-46 winners over Heath Professionals, in the semifinals Sunday at noon at St. John’s University.

Grover Cleveland 61, Bronx Leadership Academy 51. Jennifer Barenboim’s 21 points, including 15 from the foul line, helped third-seeded Cleveland (19-7) advance to the ‘B’ division semifinals with the 10-point win over No. 6 BLA. Cleveland will face No. 2 South Shore Sunday at 4 p.m. at St. John’s University.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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