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The 14-year-old Lady Hornets girls basketball team comprised of Queens and Brooklyn Basketball standouts compiled an impressive summer record of 25-3, competing in the Queens Beacon Championship and the New York City Nike/Liberty Tournament.
In the Beacon tournament, the girls marched through the competition until they hit a bump, losing to the Queens Warriors, 48-44. In the double-elimination tournament, the Hornets came back in strength taking the championship, 59-44.
The scoring was well-distributed between all players, as Archbishop Molloy-bound Jennifer Kelleher ( 12) and Jessica McEntee ( 14) led all scoring.
The Hornets had outstanding support from Melanie Murphy (10) Danielle McLaughlin (nine) Nicole Bellomo (six) , Maurean Marzano (five), Orsola Bonilla (three), Jessica Kroepfl, Nina Cesare and Liz Murphy.
The Hornets were invited to compete in the citywide Nike Jr. Liberty Tournament and were assigned to play the teams in Staten Island. The Hornets took on combined junior varsity and varsity teams from high schools including St. Peters, St. Joseph by the Sea, Notre Dame Academy and St. Johns Villa.
The 14-year-old Hornets team went 6-0 in Staten Island and captured the championship title. Throughout that tournament, Jessica McEntee, Jennifer Kelleher and Danielle McLaughen scored in double figures, while McEntee , Kelleher and Maurean Marzano controlled the boards .
In the championship game against St. Peters, both teams struggled with the oppressive heat, which resulted in a slow-paced, low-scoring game. With 25 seconds left in the game and St. Peters leading 22-20, McEntee drove the lane and was fouled. She knocked down two foul shouts to tie the score at 22.
After a time out, St. Peters and the Hornets exchanged possessions without scoring. St. Peters came down with the ball with approximately 10 seconds left when the Hornets stole the ball and called their final time out. Orsola Bonilla hit a 20-footer with three seconds left giving the championship to the Hornets.
As a result of this outstanding victory, the Hornets were invited by the WNBA New York Liberty to attend two home Liberty games against the Miami Sol. The Hornets were invited as guests to come onto half-court before the last game and were greeted by the Liberty players. Each Lady Hornet was given a Liberty Ball as a gift.
As part of the festivities, all the players where introduced to and had conversations with Libertys standouts including Teresa Weatherspoon, Becky Hammon and Tari Phillips.
As the season draws to a conclusion, the girls prepare to go on to play for their respective high schools, which include Archbishop Molloy, St. Francis Prep, Midwood, St. Edmund, St. Marys (Manhasset) and Notre Dame Academy.
The Hornets will conclude their Rockville Center Tournament and play for the championship this week. Coach Joe DeLuca appreciates the efforts of the players who enjoyed an exciting and successful summer.
©2001 Community Newspaper Group
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