The prevailing thought is that city girls basketball is better than that on Long Island. But for at least one day, Long Island showed that isn't necessarily the case.
Kamala Thompson had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Alexis Smith had 12 points, seven steals, six rebounds and four assists and Kristen McMahon scored 11 points for St. John the Baptist in a 48-36 win over John F. Kennedy (Bronx) Sunday in the Under Armour Classic at St. John the Baptist. The Cougars' win capped a three-game sweep for Long Island teams against three of the better teams in the PSAL.
"We thought this game was going to be an easy one, and when we came out, we didn't realize the defense we were going against," Thompson said. "We had to prove what Long Island carries. People think these city teams are going to come in here and annihilate us, but we proved it wrong."
Said Smith: "It was important for Long Island. It was nice to get the sweep. The city has good teams, but so does Long Island."
It was a defensive battle for more than a quarter before the Cougars got going midway through the second quarter. They closed the first half with a 12-2 run to take a 25-15 lead. Thompson started the run with a pair of free throws, Smith followed with a three-pointer and Thompson added a three-pointer for a 21-15 lead.
The spurt continued into the second half with baskets from Lindsey Minor and Anastasia Williams for a 29-17 lead.
"We were able to push the ball fast," Smith said. "We got a lot of transition baskets and our defense was strong. We had to keep attacking the basket and staying aggressive."
SJB (10-9), which played without Brianna Thomas for the second consecutive game because of a severely sprained left index finger, isn't accustomed to this many losses in a season. The Cougars had some injuries early and played a very difficult non-league schedule, but they still have a chance at the top seed in the CHSAA playoffs. "The adversity that we went through was beneficial to us," Thompson said. "It has brought us together."
N. Babylon beats F. Lewis. North Babylon opened the day with a 60-32 win over Francis Lewis (Queens). Bria Hartley had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 steals for her fifth triple-double of the season. She scored 17 points in a 27-14 first half, and North Babylon (12-2) extended the lead to 47-18 with a 20-4 third quarter. The Bulldogs held Francis Lewis without a field goal for 12:25 spanning the second and third quarters.
Sachem East tops S. Shore. Kristen Doherty scored 26 of her 28 points in the first half and finished with 17 rebounds and six assists in Sachem East's 67-37 win over South Shore (Brooklyn). She shot 11-for-17 from the field in the first half. Sachem East (13-3) has won nine consecutive games. Doherty scored 15 in a 26-9 first quarter and 11 in the second quarter to help make it 45-14 at the half. Caitlin Hopkins scored 13 for Sachem East.