By Jerry Del Priore
Playing with a banged up rising sophomore Barbara Bruno, who was playing her first game in two weeks, and a limited squad, the ML Gators couldn’t survive the onslaught of Canarsie Nation, losing, 54-43, in the semifinals of the For the Loyalty of the Game Girls’ basketball Tournament Semis Tuesday evening at Harry Maze Playground in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Given the situation, head coach Mike Lloyd didn’t want to risk any further damage to his team.
“Barbara has been out for two weeks,” Lloyd explained. “She played today. It was her first day playing in two weeks. She was supposed to come back this weekend. So, I didn’t want us to forfeit the game. So, I just wanted to play, and nobody (else) to get hurt.”
While the final score wasn’t in their favor, Lloyd said there were a few positive takeaways. But the ML Gators still need to work on some of basketball’s fundamentals.
We played man-to-man pretty good, we played our zone well, and we executed pretty well,” he said. “We just missed a lot of easy layups and a lot of free throws.”
The ML Gators kept it close in the first half, trailing just 22-17 going into the locker room. But Canarsie Nation opened up a 40-23 almost five minutes in the second half.
However, the ML Gators battled back, closing the gap at 42-34 with 6:50 remaining in the game. Rising junior Kiya Marquez sliced the score to eight points once again minutes later. But Canarsie Nation hit a basket, and the ML Gators failed to sink two free throws.
That allowed Canarsie Nation to pull away with the victory down the stretch.