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Mary Louis battles back to best Kellenberg, 57-47

The Mary Louis Academy girls’ varsity basketball team dropped a 35-point loss to national powerhouse and league foe Christ the King, marking the second straight season the Hilltoppers have started the season 2-8.

But head coach Joe Lewinger Jr. said he thought his team played well in the loss, and his team continued to show improvement Friday night with a dramatic 57-47 comeback victory over the Kellenberg Memorial Firebirds in Jamaica Estates.

“It was a good game, but it didn’t have to be so good,” Lewinger said. “We didn’t rebound. We try to rebound against King and then we come out and don’t rebound for three-and-a-half quarters [against Kellenberg].”

The team’s lack of aggressiveness under the board put Mary Louis in a 10-point hole in the fourth quarter, trailing 44-34 with 5:27 left in the game.

Lewinger then changed his defensive tactics, going to a zone press instead of the man press which was not effective against the quick Kellenberg backcourt.

The coach also put in 5-foot-10 sophomore Liz Flynn.

“When she plays physical she’s a great asset to the team,” Lewinger said.

Spurred on by Flynn, who recorded four blocks and helped give Mary Louis a presence under the boards, the Hilltoppers came storming back, going on a 19-0 run to eventually win the game going away by 10.

Rachele Burriesci led the scoring output with 19 points, followed by Sue Basile and Liz Strein, who each dropped 11 for Mary Louis.

“It was really a team effort,” the coach said. “The communication was outstanding.”

After a Tuesday date against Bishop Loughlin, the Hilltoppers (3-8) will try to defend their championship at the annual Monsignor King Tournament at St. Thomas Aquinas in Brooklyn. If Mary Louis gets by first-round opponent Midwood, possible match-ups with Bishop Kearney, Manhattan Center and Francis Lewis loom.

But Mary Louis started last year 2-8 as well and not only went on to win the Monsignor King Tournament, but the CHSAA Class D State title as well.

Molloy 56, Bishop Ford 37. Keri-Anne Jetter scored 15 points and Jen Kelleher contributed 13 points for the Stanners in this win Monday. Molloy is now 12-3 overall and 5-1 in league play.

St. Edmund Prep 58, St. Agnes 23. Jessica Orsi and Jessica Buono scored 21 and 14 points, respectively, for St. Edmund in the Brooklyn team’s win over St. Agnes Monday.

Christ the King 83, St. Francis Prep 48. The No. 1 team in the nation according to USAToday, the Christ the King Royals scored another impressive win Sunday, led by Corinne Turner’s 20 points and Leslie Dickinson’s 19. Shay Doron chipped in with 11 points as the Royals remained unbeaten on the season, 11-0 overall and 6-0 in league play. The loss was the first in league play for St. Francis Prep, now 5-5 overall and 4-1 in CHSAA action.

Cardinal Spellman 47, Archbishop Molloy 40. Jessica McEntee scored a team-high 16 for the Stanners, but it was not enough in this non-league encounter. Spellman was led by Jackie Tracy’s 15 points. The loss drops Molloy’s overall log to 11-3.

St. Francis Prep 61, Bishop Kearney 43. Caitlin Kennedy recorded a double-double, scoring 12 points and pulling down 12 rebounds as the Terriers trounced Brooklyn’s Bishop Kearney. Susan Divald also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Archbishop Molloy 76, Kellenberg Memorial 48. Jetter scored 23 points to lead the Stanners in this non-league game last week.

Fontbonne Hall 45, St. Agnes 19. Jeanette Carillo and Joanna Gillen led Fontbonne Hall with 11 and 10 points, respectively, over College Point’s St. Agnes.

Christ the King 71, Mary Louis 34. Corinne Turner led the Royals with 16 points in this league match-up. Liz Strein had 11 in the loss for the Hilltoppers.

St. Francis Prep 87, Bishop Loughlin 72. St. Francis got a strong showing from Jeanmarie Costello, who led the charge with 23 points in this league win for the Terriers.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

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