On Sunday, Staten Island’s St. Joseph Hill Academy varsity basketball team played one of its most complete, balance offensive games of the season, as they had four girls who scored in double-digits en route to a 73-55 non-league victory over scrappy Kennedy Catholic (Somers, N.Y.) at home.
Head coach Jim Garin did not take the Clippers lightly, as he knew they would be a tough out, as they employ the defensive press. So, he prepared and coached his squad accordingly.
Although St. Joseph, who competes in the Catholic High School Athletic Assocation (CHSAA) Class A division, won by an 18-point margin, Garin said the score was not a true indication of how competitive the Clippers were on Sunday. The Koalas used scoring barrages to distance themselves in the end.
“I thought, coming in, it would be a tough game, because they’re going to be physical, they’re going to be all over the court,” Garin said. “They’re going to press us, so we have to be smart with the ball. We can’t turn it over, and then we have to knock down some shots when they’re wide open,” which St. Joseph did.
“But you can’t get ahead of yourself with a team like that,” he continued. “You have to take it slow, and then take your opportunity. I thought we did a good job today. I thought offensively, we played really well.”
The Koalas (12-3) jumped out to an 18-10 advantage in the first quarter. Kennedy sliced the lead to 25-19 with 4:07 left in the second period. But St. Joseph went on a 16-4 run to close out the first half ahead by a score of 41-23.
However, the Clippers cut the deficit to 11 points (45-34) with approximately three minutes remaining in the third quarter. But the Koalas scored seven unanswered points to pull ahead by 18 again at the end of the period.
From there, the rest of the tilt was academic for St. Joseph, as it won going away.
Senior guard Maddy Crocco (D III Misericordia University) and sophomore Molly Keane scored 16 points apiece while senior forward Elizabeth Bennett, a Scranton University commit, dropped in 14 and junior Tara Murphy added 13 in the win.
Junior guard Gabby Sweeney paced Kennedy with nine points.
The Kennedy game was the first contests of five in eight days for St. Joseph. The Koalas will travel to Moore Catholic Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Then, they will host Notre Dame on Thursday, Kellenberg Saturday, and travel to Brooklyn to face powerhouse South Shore Sunday.
— Text, photos and video by Jerry Del Priore.
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