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The Archbishop Molloy varsity girls basketball team joined Christ the King as the second borough team to advance to the Catholic High School Athletic Association state finals, to be held Sunday at St. Johns University.
Christ the King advanced to the title game by being the only AA team from either the Brooklyn/Queens or Long Island diocese. Molloys road was a bit more difficult.
After locking up the A bid out of Brooklyn/Queens, the Stanners had to get by a stubborn St. John the Baptist club Friday night at Hofstra University in the state semis to earn a shot at the schools second state crown in as many years.
It wasnt pretty, but we did what we had to do to seal it, said Molloy head coach Marty Towey of his teams 54-50 win over St. John the Baptist. The game was tough.
With Rosalyn Gold-Onwude kept in check for most of the game, it fell to forward Jessica McEntee to pick up the slack. The junior from Flushing did not disappoint, scoring a team-high 19 points while helping Molloy race out to a 25-10 lead after the first quarter and the team simply held on from there.
Switching to a zone defense to try and limit McEntee inside, St. John the Baptist, behind the play of 6-foot-4 center Danielle Wilson, outscored Molloy 19-10 in the second quarter to shrink the once 15-point deficit to just six at the half, 35-29.
Molloy countered with a zone defense in the second half, trying to limit the suddenly hot Wilson, who also had 19 points in the game.
They started zoning us and their big girl, Danielle Wilson, was scoring heavily inside, Towey said. We went to zone to eliminate her.
The two teams battled evenly in the third and the score was 47-41 heading into the fourth quarter.
Baptist managed to get within three in the final moments of the game, but Gold-Onwude went to the line and hit the first of two free throws of a one-and-one opportunity to push the Stanners advantage to four with under six seconds to play.
They never had the lead, but they threatened late in the game and we held them off, Towey said. That was enough to seal it.
McEntees 19 points gave her 1,002 for her career at Molloy, making her the second girls player at the school to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Gold-Onwude, who had 10 in the win, scored her 1,000th point earlier in the season during a league loss to Christ the King. E.J. Dreyer chipped in 11.
The win puts Molloy in the newly designated Class A final against Mount Mercy, the representative from the Buffalo diocese that defeated Staten Islands Notre Dame by 15 Saturday, 59-44, to reach the championship. Mount Mercy was also the team that defeated St. Francis Prep from the B playoffs a year ago before losing to St. John Villa in the CHSAA state championship.
Towey, who has not seen Mount Mercy play this year, described the team as an always tough opponent that could give his club problems inside.
Theyre a tall team they have three 6-footers, Towey said. They say theyre a fundamentally sound team and they rebound well.
A win over Mount Mercy could set up a rematch between Molloy and Poughkeepsies Our Lady of Lourdes in the Class A state Federation tournament in Glens Falls. Lourdes has lost only once this season, a Jan. 30 overtime defeat to the Stanners.
Christ the King, which will be making its 20th consecutive appearance in the CHSAA state championship game winning ?? will face off against Bob Daggetts St. Peters Eagles, who reached the title game with their 59-38 win over St. John Villa March 7.
The Royals, who have lost just once all season and are ranked No. 2 in the nation by USAToday, can reach the Class AA state Federation championship game with a win, where they would likely face PSAL powerhouse Murry Bergtraum, currently ranked No. 3 in the nation.
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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