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St. Francis Prep looking to lock up second place

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Those are the words of St. Francis Prep varsity girls’ basketball head coach Tom Finn, whose Terriers stand poised to lock up second place in the Brooklyn/Queens Friday if they can get past a...

By Anthony Bosco

“A funny thing happened on the way to a rebuilding year.”

Those are the words of St. Francis Prep varsity girls’ basketball head coach Tom Finn, whose Terriers stand poised to lock up second place in the Brooklyn/Queens Friday if they can get past a tough Hilltoppers squad from The Mary Louis Academy.

The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at St. Francis Prep.

Finn’s team was not expected to be this good. Sporting a 17-6 record, St. Francis has lost just twice in league play, both against national powerhouse Christ the King, including the two teams’ second meeting Sunday, won by CK, 80-50, a game the Terriers played without star point guard Dawn Gorynski, who twisted her ankle in Friday’s 70-43 win over Bishop Kearney.

“It’s kind of an old story,” Finn said. “This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but we’re 17-6 with one game to go and in pretty good shape.

“We’re right in the middle of it,” he added. “If we take care of business we can be a notch better [than last year]. The only thing that’s a notch better is being state champions.”

And Finn has taken precautions this year that will help his team achieve that goal. Last year the Terriers lost in the New York State Federation Class B title game to Our Lady of Lourdes (Poughkeepsie), a team the coach scheduled for his club to play this season. And though the Terriers lost by six, Finn said the experience can only help his girls.

Finn also scheduled games against five Long Island teams, one of which his team will likely face on the road to the state championship. The Terriers beat all five — Holy Trinity, St. Dominic’s, St. Anthony’s, Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Mercy — with all but one victory coming on the road.

“Last year we won on talent,” Finn said. “This year we’re a better basketball team. The sum of the parts are greater than the whole. We have 10 people. Everybody has a role and they’re pretty much sticking to it.”

The team’s other three losses also came against tough non-league opponents, Rumson (N.J.), Scarsdale (N.J.) and defending PSAL champs Murry Bergtraum.

“We didn’t shy away from any body,” Finn said.

The team’s success can be attributed to the play of Gorynski and tri-captains Dana Kirchoff, Kris Lee and Kim Weigel. Caitlin Kennedy rounds out the starting lineup, with Erin White and Liz Yuneman coming off the bench.

“Dawn has come into her own and has become one of the premier point guards in the league,” Finn said. “It’s her job to distribute the ball and she does a pretty good job doing that. She leads by example. She plays hard all the time. She wasn’t going to let it be a rebuilding year.

“[Kirchoff, Lee and Weigel have] shown pretty good direction for the younger kids,” he added. “It’s up to them to get everyone else ready to go.”

And for the most part, Prep has been ready for every challenge this season, sans Christ the King, a team Finn said “is a cut above everybody else.”

“It’s a reality check for us,” he said. “If we think we don’t have anything to work on, we find out. We want to get better as the season goes on. We started out with a lot of question marks.”

Questions that, for the most part, have been answered.

<b>Christ the King 80, St. Francis Prep 50.</b> Clare Droesch paced the Royals, now 20-1 and 10-0 in league play, with 25 points, while Chanel Moore added 13 and Melanie Magone chipped in 12.

<b>St. John’s Prep 82, Catherine McAuley 19.</b> The Red Storm got an 18-point performance from Lora Morton and 14 apiece from Christina Jones and Starla White, improving to 12-4 on the season, 8-0 in league play.

<b>Christ the King 47, St. John Vianney (N.J.) 38.</b> Droesch and Christine Catalanotto both scored 11 for the Royals in this non-league win Friday.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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