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Wildcats roar: John Bowne makes first girls’ hoops city title game behind senior point guard’s 14 points, leadership

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"I was telling the clock to hurry up and hit zero," Mitchell said.And when it did, the scoreboard showed a 55-52 victory for John Bowne against rival Martin Van Buren in the PSAL Class A quarterfinals Saturday morning at Hunter College. The Wildcats, seeded sixth, will be in their first-ever city championship game against top-seed Curtis Saturday at St. Francis College."It means everything - it's a big accomplishment," said Mitchell, who had a team-high 14 points. "We came from nothing and made ourselves into something."Bowne (23-3) took an eight-point lead into halftime and opened it up into a 14-point lead in the second half. But, backed by a 9-0 run, Van Buren (22-4) tied the game at 45 on three-pointer by freshman Toni Gooden with 2:14 left in the game."I thought we were gonna win when we were down 9, 10," Vee Bees coach Mike McClain said. "I said to them 'we have them now - we have them rattled.'"But then the Wildcats snatched the momentum right back. Charnelle Wray made a basket and was fouled with 1:38 left. The senior missed the free throw, but in swooped Rebekah Thompson for an offensive rebound and putback. The Wildcats went up 51-47 and Mitchell's waterworks were about to start on the sidelines.There were some growing pains earlier in the season for Bowne. The Wildcats' players weren't always committed and they lost to Van Buren and Medgar Evers in winnable games. They avenged both of those losses in the playoffs.Jennifer Rios added 11 points for Bowne, while Kamesha Lambright had 26 points and Justinna Boatwright chipped in 10 for Van Buren"I can't even describe how great it feels," said 13th-year coach Bruce Bitterman. "They learned how to win."Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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