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SportsHigh SchoolGirls Basketball

Cara McCormack, Jen Gaffney lead St. John the Baptist over Wantagh

Cara McCormack #15 of St. John the Baptist

Cara McCormack #15 of St. John the Baptist dribbles downcourt during a non-league varsity girls basketball game against Wantagh at Baldwin High School on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016. Photo Credit: James Escher

Cara McCormack didn’t expect the responsibilities she has been given early in her freshman season, but she’s certainly proving capable of handling them — and more.

The point guard had 11 points and five assists in St. John the Baptist’s 57-47 girls basketball victory over Wantagh at the Chanee Brown Bruin Holiday Basketball Classic at Baldwin High School on Monday afternoon. But as is fitting for a point guard, she was more interested in sharing the credit with her teammates.

“It’s obviously a little difficult being a point guard and needing to lead others, but the older kids all guide me and help me so much,” McCormack said. “Even if I’m the point guard, I feel they help me lead the team . . . It’s really fun to play with older girls and they don’t make me feel like a freshman.”

Her play isn’t like that of a freshman, either. She scored 32 points against Archbishop Molloy in the first game of the season and had 20 against Oceanside.

Fellow freshman guard Jen Gaffney scored 15 points Monday and was named the game’s most valuable player.

“We all connect with each other, especially me and Cara,” Gaffney said. “We always pass the ball together looking to score.”

St. John the Baptist (2-2) lost star Emily Meyer with a shoulder injury early in the season. Unsure of the severity of the injury at the time, coach Kate Gordon made sure the players remained focused on improvements. Meyer has returned to practice but isn’t playing yet.

“The girls kind of understood it wasn’t just a Band-Aid,” Gordon said. “They have to be able to produce day in and day out.”

Morgan Gress added five points and 12 rebounds, including six offensive boards. Colleen Conway had eight points and Lauren Bonomi and Katie Maguire added six each.

Caitlin Albanese led Wantagh with 19 points.

For the young Cougars team, it was an important win for building confidence heading into conference play. “The other captains and I kind of pulled together and said, ‘We need this win,’ ” Michaela Mowat said. “We need to come together, and we did.”

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