Third time not a charm for Scanlan

Tom Catalanotto won’t be scheduling his Monsignor Scanlan team for three games in three days ever again.

“Going three day in a row definitely took its toll,” the coach said.

The Crusaders girls’ basketball team won the first two easily while hosting the Controlling the Game tournament on Saturday and Sunday, but were sluggish from start to finish in a 51-47 loss to city power Grand Street at the Rose Classic Super Jam on Jan. 18 at Nazareth.

“My body is sore,” point guard Delphynia Sparks said.

Scanlan was unable to pull out a victory because it didn’t get enough stops down the stretch and executed poorly on its final possession. Sparks said her team’s communication needs to improve.

The Crusaders got within two twice in the final 2:00, the first on a Nukiya Mayo three-pointer and the second thanks a Sparks put back and the foul to make it 49-47 with 1:12 to play in the game.

“We just kept trading baskets,” Catalanotto said. “We didn’t play good enough defense.”

On their next three possessions, Mayo was forced into a three with the shot clock winding down. Sophomore Janier Cooper settled for a trey on a fast break. A uniform mix up had both teams wearing nearly identical white jerseys, so Mayo mistook a Wolves playing for Sparks with less than 10 second left, throwing off the plan for a last second shot.

“It was confusing,” Sparks said. “I was trying to trick them.”

Catalanotto didn’t use the uniform snafu as excuse, but was more upset with his team execution late.

“We had some plays down the end of the game that didn’t go our way,” the coach said.

Sparks paced Scanlan with 18 points and Mayo had nine. Both connected on three treys. Scanlan struggled to stay in front of Grand Street’s Asianae Johnson and Kaisah Lucky, who had 14 points each.

The stretch and the game is something the Catalanotto hopes this group improves from as it tries to accomplish its goal of win a CHSAA Class A state title. His club hasn’t been in too many games that tight that late.

“We knew they were one of the better teams in the city,” Catalanotto said. “That why we do these things.”

Spellman rolls past Medgar Evers: Sophomore guard Diamond Christian scored 12 of her 18 points in the second half and senior backcourt mate Leah Pinilli has a dozen her points before the break in a 61-45 victory over Medgar Evers at the Rose Classic Super Jam on Jan. 18. The Pilots are off to a 10-2 start.

“It’s up to us to show them how good we are,” Pinilli said. “That’s what we plan to do.”

The Pilots led 20-4 after the first quarter only to watch Medgar Evers stay within striking distance at 28-15 at the half. Spellman broke the game open with a 13-0 run to start the third to go up by 20 The Cougars were able to fight back to down just 13 in the fourth, but never got closer.

Devyn Elliot added eight points for Spellman. Alisha Machado, Brianna Randolph and Gabriela Moore all had 10 points for Medgar Evers.

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