Fontbonne Hall Academy Basketball: Bonnies Fall to Preston In City Championship

March 22, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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By Jim Dolan

Brooklyn Eagle

Preston 38 Fontbonne 29   

After capturing the GCHSAA Division II Brooklyn-Queens championship in the final seconds of their game against Bishop Kearney, the Fontbonne Hall Academy Bonnies continued their ascent in the New York City diocesan playoffs with subsequent wins over St. Vincent Ferrer and St. John’s Prep to make it to the city finals against Preston, a school from Throgs Neck in the Bronx.

With the stage set for the Division II city championship on March 9 in the Sacred Heart High School gym in Yonkers, the Bonnies entered the contest as the underdogs against a team that contained a core group of AAU travel players from the Bronx Running Rebels.  In order to counter his experienced opponent, Fontbonne head coach Stephen Oliver drew up a quick defensive game plan for his team to stop Preston at the perimeter with a new 3-2 defense.

Despite the adjustment, Preston proved formidable, taking a 22-15 lead in the first quarter and a 29-22 lead by the half. For the beginning of the third quarter, the Bonnies held Preston scoreless as Cindy Henderson scored in transition and Kate Oliver hit two foul shots to narrow the lead to three points, 29-26, at the 4:31 mark.

Preston’s Melissa Cwikla closely guards Cindy Henderson (#10) as Kate Oliver dribbles down, looking for an opening.

After narrowing the gap, Fontbonne’s chances dwindled in the final quarter as Preston’s defense began to deny the Bonnies shot opportunities from the arc.  

“We just couldn’t get off a good first shot,” coach Oliver said, “We needed more shots and Preston just didn’t allow us to get them.”Fontbonne athletic director Donna Schirippa and head coach Stephen Oliver were awarded the runner-up award as finalists in the New York City GCHSAA Division II finals.

On the season, coach Oliver remarked, “I couldn’t have asked for more from the girls. We got a championship win over Kearney and then made it to the city finals. It’s been a great season for Fontbonne.”

The Panthers of the Preston School from Throggs Neck in the Bronx won the New York City GCHSAA Division II championship with their 38-29 win over Fontbonne.	Eagle photos by Jim Dolan

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