Jill Conroy expects more than the lackluster performance her veteran Bishop Ford Falcons girls basketball team turned in during a 57–50 loss to the host Archbishop Molloy Stanners on Saturday afternoon.
The senior guard watched her team shoot poorly and get beaten to loose balls and rebounds. Molloy used a 13–1 run to build a 16-point third quarter lead and went back up 52–40 midway through the fourth. Ultimately, Ford will remember Saturday’s loss as its chance to move into first place in Brooklyn–Queens Division I.
“We can’t play in streaks,” said the Holy Family-bound Conroy, who had 12 points. “In order to win against tough teams we have to play consistent throughout.”
That was coach Mike Toro’s message after the contest. He felt Molloy (7–1, 3–0) played like it wanted the game more, remembering Ford’s (4–2, 3–1) previous victory in last year’s diocesan semifinals. If his club is going win a championship this season, Toro knows his opponents can’t outwork them.
“We’ve got to find our heart,” Toro said. “Are we going to be a team that actually is one of the favorites or are we going to be one of those typical teams that can win one [big] game and then can’t do it the next?”
Ford attempted a rally late in the game. A 6–0 run brought the score to 56–50 with 1:03 left, but it appeared the Falcons would have a chance to get closer when Tanasia “Sweets” Blake grabbed a rebound and went dribbling up the right sideline.
She was trapped and turned the ball over after Toro chose not to call time out. He later admitted the call, or lack-thereof, was a mistake. St. John’s-bound guard Aaliyah Lewis would come up with a steal, but missed from close range down the other end.
“That’s the point in the game they have to mature and know nobody is a hero,” Toro said.
Lewis and Aaliyah Jones each scored nine points for Ford. James Madison-bound guard Amani Tatum led all scorers with 21 points, including nine during the 13–1 run. Carolyn Gallagher had 12 for Molloy.
Ford shot poorly from the free throw line and the field, including 0–10 from three-point range.
Conroy knows her team must perform better down the stretch.
“That’s where you have to pick up the intensity,” Conroy said. “Molloy was just a step ahead of us.”
Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.