The John F. Kennedy girls’ basketball team rarely makes it look easy. But over the last few weeks, there aren’t many teams in New York City getting it done quite like the Knights.
JFK pulled out yet another tight game Saturday, this time in a 62-57, double overtime thriller against Bishop Ford in a non-league contest in Brooklyn. Coach O’Neil Glenn’s team has now won 12 in a row.
“We’re doing what it takes to win,” Glenn said. “We’re meshing; we’re playing good basketball.”
In typical Kennedy fashion it was a defensive struggle and there were late-game heroics. A put back by sophomore forward Iraida Santiago tied the game at the end of regulation. Senior forward Darleen McLeod’s basket sent the game into double overtime.
“We’re getting better in some sense,” said Glenn, who is rarely satisfied with any victory. “We’re playing good defense and I gotta give my kids credit for at least that.”
Coming in, Kennedy was ranked No. 6 in New York City by FiveBoroSports.com and Ford went unranked this week. The Falcons were No. 8 in the CHSAA top 10.
Santiago led the way with 18 points and McLeod added 12 for Kennedy (17-2), which won its first significant game of the season without either of its star senior guards Teara Shaw and Robyn Jenkins scoring in double figures. The Knights were down by seven points with three minutes left in regulation when Glenn went into a 2-3 zone. Ford (9-10) made just two more field goals the rest of the way.
“Defense, defense, defense,” Glenn said. “And we made it ugly.”
They certainly did. After Santiago tied the game at 46 at the end of regulation, both teams scored a combined eight points in the first overtime period. The second extra frame was a little better: 12-7 in favor of Kennedy.
Junior forward Vanessa D’Ambrosi had 20 points and seven rebounds and junior wing Shayra Brown had 17 points for the Falcons, who have an important league game coming up Monday against Archbishop Molloy. A win would all but seal up the third position in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I and a spot in the CHSAA Class AA state tournament.
Kennedy has its own big one Friday: a rematch with Murry Bergtraum at home. There’s one thing Glenn knows about the rest of the season.
“We’ll,” he said, “be battle-tested.”
McKee/Staten Island Tech 61, St. Joseph by the Sea 56: Kristen Markoe had 29 points, including five 3-pointers, to help lead MSIT (16-5). Kaitlyn Astel added 17 points for the Sea Gulls. Alyssa Castania had 15 points and Lisa Galasso had 11 for St. Joseph by the Sea (4-11).
Mary Louis 60, Bishop Kearney 43: Karin Robinson had 20 points and Amanda Burakoski had 15 points for Mary Louis (13-4, 5-1 CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens). Christina Hiltunen led Kearney (5-12, 2-6) with 19 points.