Cambridge Rindge & Latin Falcons Girls Basketball '08-'09

Sat, Feb 28, 2009 07:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Cambridge Rindge & Latin 9 13 23 14 59
Central Catholic 21 14 18 15 68

O'Connor, Central fend of feisty Cambridge

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Saturday, February, 28 By Chris Helms
Staff writer

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.

Central staked itself to a 21-9 first quarter lead and closed the half up 35-22, but sophomore Dyamond Gardner, who racked up a game-high 31 points, refused to let her team quit. Gardner helped pull the Lady Falcons to within five points (56-51) at 5:42 in the fourth, but Central would go on a 9-2 run after that point to seal the win.

“It was a little closer than we would have liked, (Cambridge) just kept fighting. I think we got killed on the boards, which was one of the things we talked about coming in,” coach Sue Downer said.

Downer pointed to the fact that the Raiders gave up seven offensive rebounds in the first and second quarters that Cambridge converted for 14 of their 22 first-half points.

“We let her have too many open opportunities in the first half,” said Downer of Gardner, who was the one making them pay most of the time.

To neutralize Gardner, Gia O’Connor assumed the defensive duties and limited the sharp-shooter to just four points in the latter half of the fourth quarter. Offensively, O’Connor’s fourth quarter contributions were even more crucial as she racked up 9 of her team-high 26 points in the frame, including going 7-for-8 from the line.

“I was expecting maybe 10 to 14 points, but we ended up needing a couple more,” said O’Connor, who also chipped in four rebounds and two assists.

O’Connor capitalized on the fact that Katie Zenevitch (12 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks) was often double-teamed and in foul trouble for much of the second half. She fouled out with 2:17 to go in the game.

“I was only that wide open because they trapped on Katie,” O’Connor said. “When they would come off me to double Katie, she would pass it to me and I’d be wide open.”

Also shining for Central was Gabie Polce, who had 10 points, nine assists and four steals. Still, everything ran through O’Connor last night according to Downer.

“Gia played a fantastic game,” she said. “I think she was a huge catalyst for a lot of the positive things we did.

“I just said to her in the locker room, she really stepped up tonight, and that’s what you need in tournament games.”

The Raiders take on Lynn English in the semifinals. Date and time are TBA.

Game Statistics:

Cambridge (59): Dyamond Gardner 9 9-10 31, Kimberly Simmons 3 0-0 6, Georgia Pingue 1 6-8 8, Georgia Kostopoulos 1 0-2 2, Janelle Blake 2 0-0 4, Jazmin Lee 1 0-0 2, Mykaliah Best 1 0-2 2, Aubree Andres 2 0-0 4, Yun-Ting Lee 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 15-22 59

Central Catholic (68): Gabie Polce 4 1-2 10, Ashley Evangelista 1 1-4 3, Katie Zenevitch 4 3-5 12, Melissa Miller 3 8-13 14, Gia O'Connor 8 10-13 26, Kelley Mikus 1 1-2 3, Kendall Desorsiers 0 0-0 0, Brianna Martin 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 24-39 68

3-pointers: CC — Zenevitch, Polce; Cam — Gardner 4

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