Staci Barrett leads LI Lutheran on senior night
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When you think Long Island Lutheran girls basketball, you think Boogie Brozoski.
But on senior night Friday against visiting Mary Louis Academy, the sophomore sensation was out with a broken nose, giving Lutheran's veterans a chance to share the spotlight.
Senior Staci Barrett had 15 points and five rebounds and senior Cansu Atali had seven points and six rebounds as Lutheran beat Mary Louis, 51-30.
The Crusaders outscored the Hilltoppers 20-6 in a game-changing third quarter.
"I put it all on the seniors," Lutheran coach Rich Slater said. "We needed their leadership and I thought we did a pretty good job, especially in that third quarter."
The Crusaders came out with a purpose in the second half after an inconsistent first 16 minutes. Lutheran (19-4) went on an 8-0 run in the first 1:30 of the third, including six fast-break points, to take a 31-12 lead over Mary Louis (10-13).
Nani Redford had nine of her 11 points in the quarter as Lutheran all but sealed it. The Crusaders took a 43-18 advantage into the fourth quarter.
"We went in at halftime and realized our energy was down," senior Sade Gibbons said. "We just picked up our energy and everything went as planned."
Barrett scored nine points in the second quarter as Lutheran outscored Mary Louis 16-6 to take a 23-12 lead at the half.
"This was a very special night," Barrett said. "Especially to end with a bang."
Added Slater: "[Barrett is] an awesome kid . . . They couldn't guard her today and I'm going to miss her leadership, her smile, and just miss her terribly."
Gibbons finished with three points and five rebounds, senior Jessica Ayala had four points and five rebounds, and senior Leah Cooper had two points and three boards.
Brozoski broke her nose Wednesday in practice and Slater said she must avoid contact for two weeks. He is confident she'll be able to play in the state Federation Class A tournament, which begins March 22, while wearing a protective mask.
Brozoski was honored pregame for recording her 1,000th career point earlier this season against St. John the Baptist.