Joe Lewinger doesn’t admit it often, but the The Mary Louis Academy girls basketball coach offered up a public mea culpa.
“Sometimes I make the mistake of expecting Karin to be absolutely perfect,” Lewinger said, referring to Hilltoppers junior guard Karin Robinson. “But when you look at the stat sheet and see she had six steals, you remember how big she was.”
Robinson was huge Sunday afternoon, leading the way in a critical third-quarter run as Mary Louis defeated Midwood 56-44 in the New York Post CHSAA vs. PSAL Girls Basketball Invitational at Christ the King High School in Middle Village.
Robinson was named the game’s MVP, scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and adding those six steals that led to Lewinger’s gaffe admission.
She keyed the Hilltoppers’ devastating 16-2 run, turning a 24-18 halftime lead into a 19-point lead on Robinson’s steal and layup.
“I think the team got a little frustrated, but we picked it up, kept our heads up and kept playing. It wasn’t like it was a blowout or anything,” Robinson said. “I think in the first half no shots were dropping, but as we kept shooting they started falling and then everything started going smooth.”
Mary Louis (9-3) nearly perfectly executed its offense in the third quarter, allowing the Hilltoppers to trap and press effectively.
“On offense when we spread everybody out and we’re moving and we’re running, it allows Karin the opportunity to attack from different angles and then defensively it allows us to be in the position to trap right after a score,” Lewinger said.
Defensively, Mary Louis also did a better job in the second half against Jewel Tunstull, Midwood’s 6-foot-2 senior forward. The Northeastern-bound Tunstull finished with a team-high 12 points, but Mary Louis made her earn everything she got in the second half.
“We noticed that in the beginning a lot of our post players were getting into foul trouble,” Mary Louis senior guard Camille Romero said. “Every time she tried to catch the ball in the post, we tried to double her, frustrate her, get physical with her before she caught the ball to make it harder on her.”
While it was a team effort, Lewinger credited junior Sherina Caldwell with helping to negate Tunstull.
“She’s thick, very physical and when she hits you, it hurts,” Lewinger said. “We need that.”
Romero had 13 points and four steals and Kelly McNamee added 10 for the Hilltoppers, while Gisell Peguero had nine for Midwood (7-8), which never recovered from a disastrous start to the second half.
“All too often coaches look for something that they did, they always talk about their own team, like we played terrible defense for that stretch or we didn’t block out and give them second chances,” Midwood Coach Artie LaGreca said. “How about once in a while a coach just tips their cap to another team and gives them a lot of credit? They’re a team that hung in there with Christ the King and are coming off a win against Molloy. Mary Louis is a very well-coached team and they went on their run and exploited some of the things we didn’t do great defensively.”
Reach Dylan Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2010 Community News Group
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