St. Frances rolls in 2nd half

No. 2 Panthers run away from New York power

Girls basketball Breezy Bishop Classic

December 16, 2007|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,Special to The Sun

St. Frances guard Shatyra Hawkes knew she was playing a good team last night. She also knew that if the Panthers turned up the defense, the second half belonged to them. They did, and it did.

The second-ranked Panthers (3-0) used a combination of tough man-to-man defense and a supercharged transition game to upset St. John the Baptist (West Islip, N.Y.), 56-35, in the Breezy Bishop Classic last night at Western.

St. John (5-1) entered the game ranked No. 1 on Long Island in Newsday, and No. 6 in the country in the USA Today poll. The result might have stunned some, but not Hawkes.

"I knew they were ranked, but I didn't know how high," said Hawkes, a 5-foot-3 sophomore. "We had to keep them from going inside and play our transition game. We play in a tough conference, so we're used to games like this."

The Panthers came out strong, using four of Hawkes' game-high 22 points to coast to a 10-3 lead after the first quarter. More importantly, the aggressive St. Frances defense held the Cougars to one field goal for the quarter. It was a predictor of things to come.

St. John, behind 6-foot-4 junior Christine Huber, began to find its rhythm in the second quarter. The Cougars went on an 11-0 run to take a 14-10 lead with 3:38 left in the first half. The Panthers were victims of a tight man-to-man defense themselves in the second quarter, when senior Kandice Green's basket and subsequent foul shot were the only points for St. Frances, which trailed 16-13 at the half.

The second half belonged to the Panthers. St. Frances used a free throw and a basket by Deanna Harmon to tie the game at 16 just 47 seconds into the half and took the lead for good on Green's layup and foul shot with 5:33 left. St. Frances went on to outscore the Cougars 11-9 the rest of the quarter and took a 30-25 lead into the fourth.

The Panthers, behind six points from Hawkes, outscored St. John 8-0 to open the quarter and take a 38-25 lead. The Cougars never threatened after that.

"We knew [Huber] would be a factor, so we kept trying to deny them inside," Hawkes said. "We started to run in our transition game, and we wore them down. We knew we had to play defense to win, and we did it."

No. 3 Western 67, Abraham Lincoln (N.Y.) 33 -- Freshman Achiri Ade had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Doves (2-1) over the Lady Railsplitters at Western. Junior Akeema Richards chipped in 12 points, nine assists and seven steals in the win.

No. 7 City 69, Westinghouse (Pa.) 54 -- LaShay Taft scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Knights (3-0) past Westinghouse at Poly. Carissa Williams added 19 points for City.

Poly 53, Surrattsville 46 -- Shenika Johnson put on quite a show as the Engineers (3-1) defeated Surrattsville. The junior guard had seven rebounds, six steals and five assists to go with her game-high 18 points. Senior Breonna Brewer added nine points in the win.

Digital Harbor 62, National Christian 49 -- Asia Logan led a trio of sophomores in double figures as the Rams defeated National Christian at Poly. Logan scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to spark the come-from-behind victory. Mikki Groom also posted a double double, with 15 points and 10 assists. Tiana Mitchell added 10 points in the win.

Staff reports contributed to this article.

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