Marte, whose name is inscribed on the scoreboard, had 22 points against Bryant in a 57-36 league win that moved the Lions into third place in the competitive Queens II-B division behind Long Island City and Newtown. Two of their losses came against undefeated Flushing, but with two games remaining - one against Long Island City - the Lions (12-4) could still win the division for a second year in a row. Bryant dropped to 11-5."We're really coming together as a team," Richmond Hill's coach Shep Grazioli said. "We're playing a lot better than we did at the start of the season. Mostly, the players are holding on to Helin's passes better. They were dropping a lot of her passes when the season began."Marte's greatest assist was the scoreboard she helped pay for. The PSAL donated $3,000 to Richmond Hill's school budget after Marte was named the co-MVP of last year's 'B' title game won by Lab Museum, 58-45. Amanda De La Cruz of Lab Museum was named the other MVP, and her school was given $5,000 because they won."It's really great to have the scoreboard, but it's all about the team," said Marte who is averaging 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists per game. "Without them, none of this would have been possible. I'll come back next year to watch some games and I'll be able to see my name up there. That's pretty amazing."Marte scored her 2,000th point midway through the second quarter of a 76-43 win against Renaissance Feb. 3, joining Bergtraum's Epiphanny Prince as the only PSAL girls' players this season to exceed 2,000 points for their careers. While Prince signed a letter of intent to attend Rutgers University, a Division I powerhouse, and was the center of an aggressive recruiting process, Marte didn't generate nearly as much interest from schools. Marte has given a verbal commitment to Division II New Haven, which plays in the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference. But Lions' assistant coach Larry Parrish, a former athletic director at the school, said there is a bias against players in the 'B' league that drives Division I schools away."She was the second leading scorer in the city last year in the A and B league, and she doesn't have any Division I schools after her?" he said. "It's a shame. These schools are wearing blinders and they have tunnel vision. They're all going after the same players in the A league like Epiphanny Prince, and they're missing a great player like Helin. It's a real shame."Parrish said that New Haven's coach, Daynia La-Force Mann, who was at the game against Bryant, only knew about Marte because she was a former assistant at St. John's and called Grazioli two years ago about Marte. Other schools that expressed interest were Manhattan College, which called last year but never attended a game and Long Island University, which did the same, Parrish said.Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.
©2006 Community News Group
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