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Friends Academy falls to Haldane, 46-38, in Class C final

Rose Mangiarotti of Friends Academy drive by Sam

Rose Mangiarotti of Friends Academy drive by Sam Lisikatos of Haldane during the Southeast Regional Class C final at New Rochelle on March 8, 2014. Credit: Errol Anderson

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Kristina Kim sank a free throw, then extended for the customary hand slap with teammates. She didn't receive one. Rose Mangiarotti, instead, walked over and hugged her.

The free throw itself didn't mean much -- it came in the waning moments of a game already decided. But that gesture, Kim said, "summed it all up."

It was the last exchange in the final three seconds of a basketball partnership between the Friends Academy seniors that has endured since kindergarten.

"We're like peanut butter and jelly," Mangiarotti said. "We've been together on this team for five years; been on four AAU teams together . . . We're friends, and I'm proud of her, regardless of what the scoreboard said."

That sentiment extends to the team: They're Friends Academy, and still proud, regardless of what the scoreboard said.

Lindsay O'Sullivan scored 17 points and Mangiarotti had eight points, 17 rebounds and five blocks for the Quakers, though they fell to Haldane, 46-38, Saturday in the Class C final.

"It was great to get to this point, and even more special to be able to do it with this group," Kim said. The Quakers reached this round last year but played without Kim, who was overseas at the time with the U.S. Junior Olympic soccer team. "I'm so glad we did it again, and I got to be a part of it, and share moments like that with Rose."

Their paths now diverge. Mangiarotti, a lacrosse star, is headed to Brown, and Kim will play soccer at Yale.

But what remains is the indelible mark those two, along with the sophomore O'Sullivan, made on this program. The last two seasons yielded the Quakers' first two L.I. championships.

"These girls accomplished a lot and there were so many positives this season," said coach Ryan Schneider, whose team set a program record with 17 wins. "We just lost to a team that was better than us today."

Allie Monteleone scored 15 points and Marissa Lisikatos 10 for Haldane (16-6). The Blue Devils will compete in a state semifinal Friday at Hudson Valley CC.

Kim scored seven points, all in the fourth quarter, for Friends (17-3). Maddie O'Brien had four assists and Alexis Toles eight rebounds and three steals.

The teams were evenly matched in the first half and O'Sullivan's layup allowed Friends to take a 21-19 lead to intermission.

"They're definitely the best team we've played this year," Monteleone said of the Quakers.

With Mangiarotti and O'Sullivan, 6-footers, defending the paint, Haldane relied heavily on outside shooting. In the second half, those jumpers, even the contested ones, began to fall.

Lisikatos' free throws put Haldane up 28-26 with 3:17 left in the third, and it never looked back. Cali Schweihart's floater gave the Blue Devils a 44-32 lead with 2:10 remaining.

"We're all down right now, but I have such a great feeling about how far we've come," said O'Brien, headed to Fairfield. "For us to be standing here as two-time Long Island champs, I mean, that still says a lot."

It does. Regardless of what the scoreboard said.

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