Fontbonne falls to Holy Cross in finals
In a new abbreviated playoff format, the Fontbonne varsity basketball team went directly to a semi-final game to play cross-borough rival St. Edmund Prep. After the teams split their two regular season games, this contest would decide which would meet the Knights of Holy Cross for the Brooklyn-Queens Tier 2 Championship.
As it turned out, the Bonnies were up for the opportunity to advance on another strong game by top scorers, Aaniya Telford (14 points) and Noelle Polanco (13 points). Putting up a tough defense and a 17-0 run in the third quarter, the Bonnies advanced to the finals with a 37-18 win.
The Bonnies were clearly the underdogs in the finals, having lost twice to Holy Cross by 10 and 15 points during the regular season. Having beaten two other heavily favored teams earlier in the season, Fontbonne coach Steve Oliver told his team that they could win if they played their “A” game. But despite the Bonnies’ preparation and effort, they still fell to one of Queens’ top teams.
Led by Kai’leeya Wilson, the Knights came out strong in the first half to take a 33-15 lead. In the third quarter the Bonnies made a 17-8 run as Polanco (19 points), Eleni Sipp (10 points) and Telford (9 points) fought back to narrow the Knights’ lead to nine points by the score of 41-32. In the fourth quarter, the Bonnies could not build on their nine-point margin as the Knights’ Kyara Champagne (20 points) capitalized on turnovers to lead Holy Cross to a 62-45 championship win.
After the game, senior Telford and freshman Polanco were named to the GCHSAA Tier 2 All League Team. Senior Eleni Sipp received the Division 2 Sportsman Award to round out the honors for this season’s “Big Three.” In addition to the varsity players, 14-year coach Oliver was recognized as the 2022 Tier 2 Varsity Coach of the Year.
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