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Stanner sharpshooters tame Terriers, 54-45

The Archbishop Molloy varsity girls’ basketball team solidified its hold on second place in the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Saturday afternoon by besting neighborhood rival St. Francis Prep on its own gym floor, 54-45.

Not that is was easy. The Terriers, who were without key players Susan Divald and Jillian Degnan, played a solid zone defense that gave the visiting Stanners all they could handle early on, leading by as much as eight in the first quarter.

But key outside shooting from Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and Keri-Ann Jetter and strong inside play from Jessica McEntee overcame a tenacious Terrier team down the stretch to secure the win for Molloy.

“This isn’t historic, but it’s a big win, anyway,” said Molloy head coach Marty Towey, whose Stanners defeated Prep in the playoffs a year ago. “It’s a very pivotal game for the standings in our league.”

Playing a zone defense coach Tom Finn implemented for the first time earlier this season against Bishop Kearney and later against national powers Murry Bergtraum and Christ the King, the Terriers came out and took it to Molloy in the first quarter.

Jessica Sanchez, Michelle Betos and Gina Catherall all scored four points in the opening stanza, helping St. Francis to a 15-7 lead five minutes in. Gold-Onwude’s second three of the game cut the Molloy deficit to five, 15-10, by the end of the quarter.

“Tom did a good job boxing it in that way and making us earn every basket,” Towey said. “They played very well. It was a good test for us. We don’t see a lot of zones. When they packed it in, I got the feeling they were playing us like Christ the King, which I guess they did out of respect.”

The game’s momentum swung to Molloy in the second quarter, as McEntee scored the period’s first six points to give Molloy a one-point advantage. Gold-Onwude’s third trey of the game at the 3:41 pushed the lead to four, 19-15.

Prep, which had been held scoreless for 6:37, tied the game on two free throws by Betos and a basket by center Kim Coward and briefly took the lead on a three-pointer by Megan Sullivan in the final minute. But another McEntee basket — giving her 10 points for the quarter — and Gold-Onwude’s fourth three of the half gave Molloy a 26-23 lead at the break.

“She was hitting everything from the outside,” Towey said. “Those threes really hurt them.”

The Terriers got within one early in the third, but Jetter, who had been quiet in the first half, started to get hot from the outside in the third, hitting three treys in the period, while Gold-Onwude connected on two more long-distance shots.

For their part, the Terriers stayed close. Down by as much as 11 in the quarter, Sullivan, Betos and Catherall all hit three threes to cut the deficit to eight, 46-38, heading into the final period.

The lead was five following Betos’ three to open the fourth and was five again after another Betos basket at 3:47. But Molloy clamped down defensively in the final minutes, keeping the Terriers from getting any closer.

Gold-Onwude “was penetrating a little bit too much against the zone,” Towey said. “Then she started kicking it out to Keri-Ann Jetter, who started hitting threes from the outside. When we have that both going, we’re a tough team to beat.”

Molloy improved to 8-2 in league play with the win, while St. Francis Prep fell to 6-3. Gold-Onwude led the Stanners with 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, McEntee chipped in 12 points and 10 boards, and Jetter added 11. Betos led St. Francis with 16.

The Mary Louis Academy 71, St. Mary’s (Manhasset) 65. The Hilltoppers were led by Elizabeth Flynn and Casey Shevlin, who scored 17 and 16 points, respectively. Liza Gallo added 11 points in this non-league win for Mary Louis, now 12-7 overall.

Christ the King 57, Bishop Loughlin 48. The Twin Towers, Tina Charles and Carrem Gay, had huge days for the Royals — Gay with 17 points and eight rebounds and Charles with 14 points and 14 boards. Nakejia Kelly contributed 13 points as CK improved to 16-1 overall and 8-0 in league play.

Stella Maris 41, St. John’s Prep 33. The Flippers’ Natalia Alexander led everyone with 16 points, while the Red Storm was powered by Meghan Foley’s 12. Stella Maris is a perfect 11-0 in league play.

Archbishop Molloy 66, Notre Dame (S.I.) 45. Gold-Onwude had 24 and McEntee added 12 in the non-league win for the Stanners.

The Mary Louis Academy 62, Bishop Ford 42. Shevlin and Julie Serewko scored 17 and 12, respectively, to lead the Hilltoppers over Bishop Ford last week.

Stella Maris 66. St. Edmund Prep 59. Alexander and Jennifer Anglero scored 19 apiece in this league win for Maris.

St. John’s Prep 58, Martin Luther 48. Melissa Mieles led St. John’s with 13 points, while Tara Deahn was the high scorer for Martin Luther with 14 points in this non-league battle between two Western Queens teams.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco be e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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