O’Neil Glenn wasn’t having the best holiday season. His John F. Kennedy girls’ basketball team had lost two of its final three league games before the break. One of those losses, against Manhattan Center, occurred despite China Crosby, the Lady Rams’ star point guard, fouling out with three minutes left.
“We’re better than that,” Glenn said.
The Knights proved it last weekend. JFK beat Amsterdam (N.Y.), 61-54, on Saturday to win the Manor Glass Holiday Tournament in Amsterdam, N.Y. Kennedy had a 61-58 win Friday in the opening round against Kingston, last year’s Section IX Class AA champion.
Kennedy senior guard Teara Shaw had 27 points in the opener and dropped 30 on Amsterdam in the championship game.
Kennedy (7-2) has some winnable league games next week, against Lehman and Truman, but the rest of its schedule is far from easy. JFK has league dates against Manhattan Center and Bergtraum left and non-league games against Westchester power Briarcliff, the defending state Federation Class B champion, on Jan. 22 and Trenton Central, one of New Jersey’s best, at the Showcase Tournaments Champions Challenge.
Aside from seniors Shaw, Robyn Jenkins and center Darleen McLeod, the Knights are very young. Sophomore forward Iraida Santiago is their third leading scorer (behind Shaw and Jenkins) and Leshauna Phinazee, a freshman, is fourth in scoring.
Manhattan Center took all three games to win the Condoleeza tournament championship in Orlando, Fla., this week. Crosby, the Lady Rams’ Virginia-bound superstar, was named tournament most valuable player and junior guard Aziza Patterson played perhaps her best basketball of the young season.