Central Catholic Raiders Girls Basketball '07-'08

Mon, Mar 03, 2008 07:00 PM @ Neutral Location
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Playoff Game Division 1 North - Semi-Finals
Central Catholic 17 18 21 12 68
Lexington 18 16 4 14 52

Central flies past Lexington into North final

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Central Catholic 68, Lexington 48 » Katie McMahon, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Tuesday, March, 04 By Alan Siegel
Staff writer

With Central Catholic in the midst of a monster, game-clinching run, Katie Zenevitch dove for a loose ball like it was a 10-carat diamond. The play didn't actually factor much into the game's outcome, but it proved a point: The 6-foot-2 sophomore wasn't going to be denied.

The No. 8 Raiders rolled past No. 4 Lexington 68-48 in the Division 1 North quarterfinals last night at Wilmington High. As usual, Zenevitch was at the center of things. "She did some major butt-kicking today," senior guard Riley Dunn said of Zenevitch, who finished with 20 points, 16 rebounds, 6 blocks and 4 assists.

She has certainly come on down the stretch. After averaging 11.5 points per game over the first 11 games of the season, she has kicked up her average to 17.8 points per game over the last 12 games, including the state tourney.

"She's really come into her own," said Central coach Sue Downer, whose club will take on the winner of tonight's Andover-Lowell matchup in the North final Saturday at Tsongas Arena.

Downer cited Central's win over Cambridge Jan. 25 as a turning point for Zenevitch, who followed up a nine-point performance against Dracut by scoring 20 against the Falcons.

Last night, Downer and her coaching staff had no problems letting Zenevitch know what they expected out of her.

"We told her to go take over the game," Downer said.

The third quarter belonged to Zenevitch and the Raiders. After taking a 35-34 lead into halftime, Central outscored the Minutemen 21-4 in the third quarter to build a 56-38 advantage. It never dipped below 11 points the rest of the way.

The Raiders kept talented guard Nena Ugwuomo (14 points) in check and harassed Lexington with a tenacious press. Downer used frequent substitutions to perfection, getting big minutes from guards Jackie Vienneau (9 points, 3 assists), Gia O'Connor (7 points) and Gabie Polce (8 points).

"Our pressure was huge," Downer said. "(Lexington) was tired. Everybody on our team contributed."

So for the second straight season, the Raiders will play for a spot in the Eastern Mass. final. Last March, they defeated Lowell 41-34 at Tsongas to advance to the TD Banknorth Garden, where they beat Needham 61-42.

Zenevitch smiled when asked if she expected Central, which opened the season 3-3, to be in the position it is now. "Definitely," said Zenevitch. "We had total confidence."

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