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Sierra Calhoun rises above in the clutch for CK

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Bob Mackey believes he is just seeing the beginning of what Sierra Calhoun can be in the final minutes of a game. Last week, the super sophomore looked her most comfortable yet in big spots.

“I hope it’s going to get better,” the Christ the King girls’ basketball coach said.

Calhoun, ranked No. 11 in her class by HoopGurlz, started the week with 20 points and 13 rebounds against St. John Vianney (N.J.). She had the game-winning bucket, skying in for a rebound and twisting her body for an improbable score that reminded Mackey of a faster, quicker Tina Charles. Then there was the 20 points against Mary Louis in a win.

The 6-foot wing saved her best performance for last to help Christ the King to its biggest victory of the season. Calhoun scored 13 of her 20 points in the second half and converted two improbable shots with a high level of difficulty late in the fourth quarter of a 66-60 upset of Cicero-North Syracuse at The Mecca Challenge at Gauchos Gym. The Brooklyn native in her second varsity season is considered by many to be the next great player at the Middle Village school.

“I know the work I put in,” Calhoun said of her slow start against the Northstars. “I didn’t let it phase me. I just kept going.”

She came flying out of nowhere to grab a rebound over a defender for a putback. Shortly after, Calhoun was fouled hard in the left corner while burying a jumper. It was Christ the King’s first win over a nationally ranked team in seven tries this season. They won despite 30 points and 20 rebounds from Philly Belles travel teammate Breanna Stewart, who is headed to UConn.

“That’s what I work on,” she said. “It’s a mid-range pull up. It went in.”

Calhoun and the Royals put forth the type of effort they knew it would take to beat a team as good as Cicero-North Syracuse.

“They are a great team with the No. 1 player in the county,” said Calhoun, who also had 21 points in a loss to Loughlin on Feb. 15. “I knew it would be a tough game for us.”

She made it look easy when it counted.

Posted 7:51 am, February 23, 2012
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