Molloy girls top previously perfect Lourdes

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The Archbishop Molloy varsity girls’ basketball team needed a clutch NBA-three-pointer from senior Kerri-Ann Jetter to force overtime and another trifecta from sophomore E.J. Dreyer in the extra session Friday night as the Stanners handed Poughkeepsie’s previously undefeated Our Lady of Lourdes Warriors their first loss of the season, 69-61.

But the capacity crowd that packed the Briarwood school’s Anthony J. Marsloe Gymnasium did not leave happy. That’s because most of those in attendance had packed a rented-for-the-hour ride from Dutchess Country down to Queens to see Lourdes standout Julianne Viani score her 1,000th career point.

Viani was a force throughout the game, beating Molloy’s best players off the dribble, spinning out of trouble repeatedly and scoring from every conceivable angle. And it was her three-pointer with 1:08 remaining in the first quarter that gave Lourdes a 12-10 lead after one.

“She was hurting us,” admitted Molloy head coach Marty Towey. “We weren’t getting out on her. I have a lot of respect for that team.”

A three by Shannon Shaw followed by three more points by Viani stretched the lead to eight less than two minutes into the second quarter. Molloy (12-4, 7-2) would stay within striking distance, thanks in large part to the play of junior center Jessica McEntee, who despite playing against Jocelyn Kelly, Lourdes’ 6-foot-plus center, went on to lead the Stanners with 24 points.

“She’s the backbone of our team,” Towey said of McEntee. “She’s a real slugger, a blue-collar type of player.”

And McEntee’s big day was crucial considering how Lourdes was able to limit Molloy leading scorer Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, who was held scoreless throughout the first half.

Viani scored her 1,000th point with 3:34 remaining in the first half, giving Lourdes (12-1) its first double-digit lead at 24-14 and forcing Towey to call a timeout to re-energize his troops.

It worked. A three by Jetter, four points from McEntee and a basket by Dreyer closed the gap to three, 26-23, but a bucket by Viani with :04 remaining in the half gave Lourdes a five-point lead at the break.

“We have to take the ball to the hoop,” Towey said. “We were relying on our outside shots early and we weren’t hitting them and we can’t do that. We have to have an inside and outside game.”

Things got no better for the home team in the early going of the third quarter. Through the first five minutes, the Warriors found their stride again, going on a 12-5 run that gave the visiting club its biggest lead of the game, 40-28, with 3:20 left in the quarter.

But the Stanners started to claw their way back into the game. Using every defense in his arsenal, Towey finally settled on the man-to-man, which started to quiet Viani. Offensively, Molloy also found its stroke. Another three by Viani followed by Gold-Onwude’s first four points of the game cut the deficit to five and two Dreyer baskets sandwiching one from Kelly made it 42-39 heading into the final period.

“We started clamping down,” Towey said. “The kids were playing extra hard defense. The overplaying helped us to get back in the game.”

From then on it was a see-saw battle. Molloy took the lead on two free throws by McEntee two minutes in, but a 6-0 Lourdes run made it 53-47 with 2:25 left. Another basket by McEntee in the final minute pulled the Stanners with one and after a Warriors’ turnover, Gold-Onwude had the ball and a chance to win the game, but her shot with 10 seconds remaining missed the mark.

Lourdes’ Megan Barnum then sank two free throws to make it a three-point game with only :08 left.

But Molloy managed to get the ball up court quick and, running a set play, Gold-Onwude found Jetter just to the right of the top of the key. Jetter quickly turned a first and found nothing but net with just two seconds remaining in regulation.

“I was like. ‘Oh, my God, please,’” Jetter said. “I was praying to my grandfather, to God, I was like, ‘God help us.’ I know I had to do it. I think because I didn’t think about it, I just did it. It fell through.”

Two free throws by McEntee gave Molloy the lead and Dreyer’s three put the home club up by five with 2:45 left. Lourdes got back within three on a trey by Barnum, but 5-of-6 free throws in the final 20 seconds iced the game for the Stanners.

“They’re a very good club,” Towey said. “We were real fortunate to beat them.”

Christ the King 69, Archbishop Carroll (Radnor, Pa.) 58. The Royals were led by the combined efforts of center/forward Tina Charles and Carrem Gay. Charles finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Gay scored 17 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Christ the King upped its mark to 15-1 with this road win over the always tough Carroll.

Archbishop Molloy 79, St. Mary’s (Manhasset) 51. McEntee again led the way with 20 points, while Gold-Onwude and Jen Kelleher each registered double-doubles, chipping in 19 points with 13 boards and 14 points with 10 rebounds, respectively, for Molloy, which improved to 13-4 overall.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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