Loughlin overcomes another slow start to beat Nazareth
The Bishop Loughlin Lions bounced back from a tough loss on Wednesday night to beat the Nazareth Lady Kingsmen 64-49 in Clinton Hill on Thursday.
The Lions improved to 18-3 with the win, but they were upset after the game as they once again needed a big second half to overcome a rough start.
“We just have to learn how to be consistent from the beginning,” said Loughlin head coach Chez Williams. “That’s mostly what I teach when I have a young team. They’re learning. To have a young team and to be 18-3, I’m grateful for where I’m at […] but we have to play better.”
Both teams got off to a slow start in the first quarter as Skydajah Patterson scored four points to establish a 10-5 lead for Loughlin. The Lions let Nazareth back in the game in the second quarter, thanks, in part, to a pair of threes by Brittney Jackson. At halftime, Loughlin led by just two points.
The Lions finally broke out in the third quarter. Senior Kiana Clark hit a pair of threes, Patterson scored six points and Zaria Dorsey chipped in with four, as Loughlin took a 46-32 lead. In the fourth quarter, the Lions extended that even further to 52-32, which helped them overcome a late surge by Nazareth’s Shalix Hinds, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Patterson led Loughlin with 14 points and Clark had 12. Niya Johnson had a game-high 17 points and Hinds had 14 for Nazareth.
It was a big win for Loughlin, especially after a tough loss to Molloy High School on Wednesday night. However, the girls were disappointed after the game and said they hoped the loss and the poor start are a wakeup call.
“It’s our intensity,” Patterson said. “I feel like we lose our intensity as a team. We’re becoming second-half players, and we have to get it together because against teams like Christ the King, it’s going to catch up to us. We need to get that together. Quick.”
Clark, who was with the team when it won the 2012 New York State Federation championship, said that she feels that the fact that Loughlin is young and has already had so much success this year might be resulting in complacency.
“I think we always underestimate teams,” Clark said. “We’ll beat somebody and then when we face them again, we just assume we’ll beat them again. The record might be getting to our head, but it can’t. We can’t let that happen. We have to start taking everyone seriously.”
Loughlin has just three games left this season and all will be tough. The team faces the Mary Louis Academy on Monday, then Long Island Lutheran and the always-strong Christ the King to wrap up the season.
“We need Kiana to step up,” Williams said. “She has to know that the younger girls are going to follow her lead. Everyone is important, though. Everyone has to be committed to playing consistent basketball all game, every game. Our league is tough. Anyone can beat you on any given night.”