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Lady Patriots rough up hobbled Cardozo, 65-31

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Prior to their league matchup with rival Cardozo, the Francis Lewis girls’ basketball team and coach Mike Eisenberg were all smiles as they posed for their annual team photograph for the school yearbook Monday.

Even more jovial for the Patriots was the news that the Judges arrived to the game without their leading scorer, Leah Lipschitz, and floor general, Marissa Flagg, due to the flu, and their top rebounder, Adenike Oyeslie, was bothered by a back injury.

Despite a sluggish start, which saw Eisenberg sit all five starters as his team scored eight points and committed seven fouls in the first quarter, Francis Lewis rallied to defeat the Judges, 65-31, and remain undefeated in Queens A.

“Obviously, it’s a different game, but I’m very proud of the way they played in the first half,” said Cardozo coach Larry Carradine, whose team only trailed 26-20 at halftime. “I was very happy with the whole first half.”

What could have been a close contest soon turned into a blowout as Francis Lewis (12-2, 9-0) outscored the visitors 25-2 in the third quarter.

“Talk is the wrong adjective. It was more of a yell,” Eisenberg said when asked what he talked to his team about during the intermission. “I was just embarrassed of the way they played. We’re supposed to be a really good team and we didn’t play like it.”

Without Oyeslie, Cardozo (7-8, 5-4) had no answer for 6-foot-4 Jessica Fuller, who said her game plan was to “just play big,” as she scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, having her way in the paint on every offensive possession.

“We tried to deny her the ball inside,” Carradine said. “But once she got it ... it was basically two points for the other team.”

Playing an even greater role in the third-quarter outburst was the Patriots’ ability to pressure the ball, which resulted in numerous fast-break opportunities.

Jasmin Lawrence scored all eight of her points during a 2:30 span in the third quarter and Dawn Coleman added 11 points for the Patriots, while the Judges were paced by co-captain Britni Bolden’s game-high 17 points and 16 rebounds.

“Lewis is obviously an excellent team,” said Carradine, who saw a healthy squad fall to the same team at home, 55-35, two weeks earlier. “You can just hold them off for so long before they start to execute well and score their points.”

Although his team played a near-flawless second half and forced Cardozo into turnovers and ill-advised shots, Eisenberg still sees room for a lot of improvement.

“We have a chance ... a chance ... to do some wonderful things. We have a chance to go back to the Garden (to) play for a city championship,” said Eisenberg, whose team has advanced to play at Madison Square Garden in two of the last three years. “We need to get better and if we don’t get better, we’re not going to get back where we want to be.”

Townsend Harris 60, Bryant 29. Katie Driscoll scored 19 points and Shanay Freeman added 18 for Townsend Harris (9-4, 6-2 Queens A).

John Adams 44, Jamaica 39. Nicky Young had 19 points and Dinorah Diaz added 13 for John Adams (3-6 Queens A).

Richmond Hill 63, Grover Cleveland 52. Nia Harrison had 25 points, Helen Marte added 15 points and Wendy Reyes added nine points and nine rebounds for Richmond Hill (14-2, 10-1 Queens I-B).

Van Buren 60, Newtown 46. Samantha Johnson scored 23 points and Olivia McLain added 15 for Van Buren (14-3, 10-1 Queens II-B). Natasha Pierre Louis had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Maria Loor added 16 points and 21 rebounds for Newtown (4-7 Queens II-B).

Far Rockaway 56, Franklin K. Lane 18. Shavona McGhie had 21 points and nine rebounds, and Shamar Stewartson added 18 points and five steals for Far Rockaway (7-3 Queens I-B).

Robert F. Wagner 51, Robert F. Kennedy 26. Dorcas Carlo had a game-high 27 points and Shianne Carpenter added 11 points and six rebounds for Robert F. Wagner (5-8 Queens II-B).

Reach contributing writer Joseph Manniello by e-mail at timesledger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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