Central Catholic Raiders Girls Basketball '08-'09

Zenevitch,Central Catholic surge to crown

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WORCESTER, Mass. — Sue Downer waited 13 years to hear that buzzer. As the final seconds ticked away in last night’s surprisingly tight Division 1 state championship game, it was mission complete for Central Catholic as the Raiders beat the Shepherd Hill Fighting Rams 67-62 in come-from-behind fashion.  It was 60-60 in the final minute before Central took over to capture its first state title in the 13-year history of the program. Downer has been at the helm since day one.  “Unbelievable,” Downer said of her initial feeling after time expired. “This is what we fought for all yea. It’s a great feeling, and at the same time quite a relief because (Shepherd Hill) gave us quite a fight, they’re a good basketball team. Watching our girls run on the floor at the end of the game and raise the trophy like that, it feels unbelievable.” No surprise that Katie Zenevitch was again the hero with four late free throws (two with 7.7 seconds left to put the game out of teach). The title helped ease the pain of many of the girls from the 2007 state title loss here to Springfield Central.  “I wish some of the girls from that team could be here to experience this, too,” said Downer. “Katie was here on that team, and you could tell in the second half that she just wanted it.” Zenevitch led the Raiders, and all scorers, with 28 points and pulled down an implausible 26 rebounds. The Raiders led 20-10 midway through the second quarter before Shepherd Hill, a heavy underdog, closed the half on a 17-6 run to take a one-point lead at the intermission, 27-26. Shepherd Hill’s Casey Glynn nailed a three 3-pointers late in the second quarter to cap the Rams’ run. “We changed into a 1-3-1, and that’s when they started hitting some threes,” said Downer. “We were changing a lot on defense; we went from a man to a zone, and just kept trying things until something worked.”  The Rams then opened the third quarter with four points in the first 30 seconds to make the Central deficit five points. “We started to hit some shots and we thought, ‘Hey, this might be real,’” said Shepherd Hill head coach James Hackenson. The Fighting Rams beat up Central in the paint, throwing a kink in the Raiders’ game plan. Zenevitch, who stands at 6-foot-3, was hammered by 5-foot-10 Rachael Montville every time she entered the paint. But the Raiders adjusted, running some plays where Zenevitch rolled to the top of the key, where she hit a pair of 3-pointers. “In the paint, they made it really tough for me to get the ball inside to Katie,” said sophomore guard Gabie Polce. “They were really physical. We were trying a few different things to get the ball to Katie and it seemed like every time we made a change, they changed something to counter it. In the end, we were finally able to break it through.” Late in the game, the Raiders were able to penetrate the ferocious Ram pressure and get the ball inside to Zenevitch and Melissa Miller. “I told (Zenevitch) at halftime to just take over,” said Downer, whose club held a 22-12 advantage from the line. “She needed to play with confidence. She obviously has the ability and the skill to do it.” The junior center responded with 17 second-half points, but she wasn’t alone in carrying the load. Ashley Evangelista had a colossal steal in the final minute and Gia O’Connor had a block on Ali Tyburski with just seconds left to seal the deal. “Gia’s block was incredible,” Zenevitch said. “That’s a huge play.” O’Connor’s block magnified Downer’s speech to her team before the game. “I told them that we would win this game with our defensive pressure,” she said. “That’s how we were going to get it done. She continued, “To win a championship, you don’t do it with one player, you don’t get this far with one player,” Downer said. “Katie, I’ll say it, she’s the best big player in the state. But Gia’s block and Ashley’s steal, those plays go a long way in winning a championship, too. “Of course, Katie at the line towards the end of the game is just huge. If she doesn’t hit those foul shots, it’s a different game.”

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Girls Basketball, 03/14/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Zenevitch's 31 fuels Central romp

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BOSTON — When Central Catholic girls basketball coach Sue Downer talks, you can be certain that All-Scholastic junior Katie Zenevitch and the rest of the Raiders listen.

Central’s 75-45 romp over Brockton in last night’s Division 1 state semifinal at TD Banknorth Garden is proof positive of that.

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Girls Basketball, 03/09/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Garden State: Central Catholic rolls into the state semis

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BOSTON – As the ball rattled in, Katie Zenevitch pumped her fist and screamed.

The shot, a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer, might've seemed innocuous at the time. The Central Catholic junior, however, knew otherwise.

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Girls Basketball, 03/07/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Raiders roll on

SALEM — The ball hit the rim, bounced straight up, then dropped through the net. Out came the cellophane-wrapped bouquet. Katie Zenevitch, who’d just scored her 1,000th career point, smiled, gave Central Catholic coach Sue Downer a hug, and moved on.

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Girls Basketball, 03/04/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

O'Connor, Central fend of feisty Cambridge

LAWRENCE — Cambridge Rindge and Latin pushed Central Catholic to the limit, but the Raiders persevered and came away with the 68-59 win at home at the Memorial Gymnasium in the semifinals of the Div. 1 North state tournament.

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Girls Basketball, 02/28/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pentucket girls slayed by Central

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Central girls outlast Pentucket

A pair of area girls hoop powers hooked up in the matinee at the Comcast Tournament.

In the girls final, it was Central outlasting Pentucket, 50-48.

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Girls Basketball, 02/15/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central/Sachem showdown

After both teams beat EMass ranked opponents in the semis, Central Catholic will meet Pentucket today in the finals of the Comcast Tournament at B.C. High.

Ranked sixth in eastern mass, Central took down No. 7 Bishop Feehan 68-57 in the semi finals as Katie Zenevitch dropped 29 points and grabbed 16 boards.

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Girls Basketball, 02/14/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Katie on a mission

Katie Zenevitch commanded the floor, leading Central Catholic with 17 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks, five steals and four assists to lift the Raiders to a 51-41 victory over Cambridge Rindge and Latin.

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Girls Basketball, 02/08/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Cooney, uptempo Andover topple Central

Lawrence: Andover's, Shannon Conney (left) and Alex Alois (#33) play tight defense against Central Catholic's, Gia O'Connor as she fights to take her lay-up in basketball action. Andover defeated Central 61-54. 2 Photos

LAWRENCE — Andover girls basketball coach Jim Tildsley made eye contact with Pat Cooney and asked a rhetorical question.

“How good was she?”

How good was Cooney’s daughter Shannon during the Golden Warriors’ 61-54 win over Central Catholic?

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Girls Basketball, 02/03/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Eight's great!

Central Catholic made it eight straight wins after beating Masconomet, 59-37. Star center Katie Zenevitch had a double-double with 23 points and 19 boards to go along with 3 assists and one 3-pointer. Melissa Miller drained five field goals and a freebie for 11 points, and Gia O'Connor chipped in with 8 points. The Raiders, ranked No. 4 in the state, improve to 12-2.

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Girls Basketball, 02/01/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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