By Jerry Del Priore
The Lady Gators fared well in the first half, in which their determined effort helped them take a 28-27 lead into the locker room against Fontbonne Hall.
But Lab Museum United (12-0, 14-2) failed to sustain any type of momentum in the second half, losing, 63-55, to the Bonnies Saturday in the first round of the 48th annual Msgr. King Basketball Tournament at St. Thomas Aquinas in Brooklyn.
Lady Gators head coach Michael Lloyd believes that, though their offense sputtered at times, it was their defense, which creates lots of offensive opportunities off stops and turnovers, that ultimately led to their demise.
“We got cold (offensively), but once again, it’s our defense,” Lloyd explained. “Our defense gives us certain easier looks. I feel we had a game plan, and I don’t think we executed it well. In terms of just fighting, they kept punching. Fontbonne, I have to give them all the credit. We took some of the punches, but we didn’t throw much back.”
Junior guard Delilah Kalle scored six points to help Lab Museum jump out to a 15-12 first quarter advantage.
Sophomore Kayla Bridgeman drained a free throw to complete a three-point play that helped the Lady Gators build a six-point lead with 6:42 left in the second period.
Fontbonne battled back, however, overtaking Lab Museum, 27-26, with less than 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter. But Sophomore guard Dasha Goodman hit two from the charity stripe to give the Lady Gators a one-point advantage at the half.
Unfortunately for Lab Museum, its defense couldn’t stop the Bonnies in the third period, as the opposition surged ahead, 47-41, at the end of the quarter.
Fontbonne claimed its biggest lead of the contest when junior guard Breanne McDonnell sank two foul shots to swell its margin to 16 points with 2:26 to go in the tilt.
It was too much of a lead for Lab Museum to surmount in the end, as the Bonnies dribbled away with the victory.
Kalle led the Lady Gators with 15 points while Goodman and Bridgeman scored 14 and 10, respectively.
McDonnell dropped a contest-high 28 points for Fontbonne.
Lab Museum faces Port Richmond in the Tournament’s consolation game Sunday at 2:30 p.m.