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Go-go Patriots race into ‘AA’ girls’ hoops quarterfinals

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Margaret Elenis missed practice Tuesday with the flu. But Francis Lewis girls' basketball coach Mike Eisenberg couldn't keep her out of the lineup for the Patriots' PSAL Class AA second-round playoff game against James Madison.

"She just wants to play and play and play and play," Eisenberg said of his senior forward.

Good thing for Lewis. Elenis was a force on the boards with seven rebounds, seemed to be involved with every loose ball and had 11 points, too, in the eighth-seeded Patriots' 67-42 win against the No. 9 Knights on Wednesday afternoon in Fresh Meadows.

Madison outrebounded Lewis, 50-22, in the team's first meeting, even though the Patriots won. Elenis, who stands only 5-feet-5, was determined not to let the same thing happen again.

"They intimidated us," she said. "We had to, in a way, prove ourselves...Rebounding is one of my favorite things to do."

The Patriots' ability to grab rebounds allowed for outlet passes and easy baskets. Lewis kept the pace up all game and Madison wilted under the constant press. It was clear which team was better conditioned after a more than two-week layoff between games for both teams.

"We noticed the other team was out of breath and we just kept going," Elenis said.

Sylvia Davis led Lewis with 21 points and a school-record 14 assists. Davis, who also hit five three-pointers, was more than happy with the up-tempo game. But she credited her teammates, including junior Andree DeLeon (10 points), with getting her all those assists.

"If they weren't in the spots it would be hard for me to make the passes," said the St. Thomas Aquinas-bound senior, who is still playing with a sleeve on her sprained right elbow.

Samantha Stanfield led Madison with 17 points.

Next up for Lewis is a match-up with top-seed Murry Bergtraum on March 8 at York College. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.

Bergatraum beat No. 17 Boys & Girls in the second round, 79-33. The Patriots have fallen to the Blazers in the playoffs seven of the last eight seasons. Five of those times have come in the PSAL city championship game at Madison Square Garden.

Begrtraum is the defending New York State Federation championship and currently ranked No. 2 in the country, according to USA Today.

"We're just gonna play," Davis said. "We gotta forget their numbers, how many wins they have...We have to prove a point. You can't sleep on us. When everyone's on, we can be a really good team."

Manhattan Center 49, August Martin 47. Junior Krystina Agard had 21 points and junior Patrice Lewis added 18 points and 11 rebounds in the 10th-seeded Falcons' PSAL Class AA second-round playoff loss to No. 7 Manhattan Center.

Martin was down, 43-35, coming in the fourth quarter and held the Rams to only six points in the final period. Manhattan Center will play No. 2 McKee/Staten Island Tech on March 8 in the quarterfinals at York College. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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