Last year, Van Buren's combination of seniors Delise Johnson and Jennaer Brown gave McClain confidence they could win any game. Without them this season, McClain has felt his players are not as focused but knows how good they can be when things come together. "I'm still waiting for things to click," he said. "They're young and want to play but they have to know you need to work hard and prepare." For the most part, sixth-seeded Van Buren (14-2) clicked last Thursday. They held No. 27 Stevenson (10-8) to two points in the first quarter as the defense disrupted the Lady Ambassadors' rhythm with physical play inside, causing them to repeatedly miss layups and commit turnovers. Van Buren led 19-2 after the first quarter. Sophomore Samantha Johnson, who along with Avery Sibbley had 19 points, was proud of the defense."It was the best defense we played all year," she said. "Everybody was excited because it's the playoffs and we wanted to do it for the seniors."Olivia DeSouza led Van Buren with 22 points and 14 rebounds as the VeeBees never let up. They pulled off several full court passes, including one from Sibbley to Teresa George early in the second quarter that drove the bench wild. The half ended with Van Buren up 43-18 and they sailed from there. The VeeBees can confidently face Health Professions next, according to Johnson."The way we played, we have the potential to go all the way," she said.A.P. Randolph 74, Springfield Gardens 45. Cherise Crichlow led No. 20 Springfield Gardens (11-5 Queens I-B) with 33 points in a first round 'B' playoff game Feb. 16 against No. 13 Randolph.Forest Hills 48, Columbus 31. Kathy Gilbert had 14 points and 12 rebounds for No. 9 Forest Hills (13-3 Queens II-B) in a first round 'B' playoff game Feb. 16 over No. 24 Columbus. Forest Hills will meet No. 8 Gompers March 3 at Gompers at 5 p.m.Long Island City 45, Far Rockaway 42. Crystal Sessons had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Kathleen Rullody added five assists for No. 17 LIC (12-8) in a first round 'B' playoff game Feb. 16. Long Island City will meet No. 1 Lab Museum March 2 away at 5 p.m.Richmond Hill 55, Art and Design 33. Helen Marte scored 32 points for No. 3 Richmond Hill (19-2) in a first round 'B' playoff game last Thursday. Richmond Hill will face No. 14 Beacon March 3 at home.Reach contributing writer Erin Bruehl by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2005 Community News Group
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