Bishop Loughlin began its league schedule with games against arguably three of its top four teams, all losses, only missing out on defending New York Federation Class AA champion Christ the King. The outcomes have set a new barometer for the Lions, who are off to a fine start overall.
“Now we know where we are at,” coach Kasim Alston said. “The next time we meet these teams, we should never lose by 20 or more. The point spread should never get that far.”
Loughlin saw an 80-56 loss to host Mary Louis get away early in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls basketball last Wednesday night. Amani Tate lead Loughlin with 12 points, Simone Charles had nine and Danisha Jordan added eight. Karin Robinson scored eight of her 16 points in the first quarter to help Mary Louis (7-1, 2-1) open up a 20-9 lead and Rena Mohamed added 14.
“I think they go in thinking, ‘Oh we are playing Nazareth. We are playing Mary Louis. We are playing Ford,’ instead of just going to play,” Alston said. “When we were in Maryland we didn’t know who we were playing. We just went on the court and played.”
This game was Loughlin’s first since going 2-0 in the Breezy Bishop Showcase in Maryland over a week ago, but TMLA is a step up in competition. Its fullcourt pressure sped the Lions (4-3, 0-3) up, had them forcing drives in transition, which lead to plenty of easy points for the Hilltoppers, who used a 16-4 run to take a 42-20 lead into the half.
“They stopped our run and gun,” Alston said. “They were back and we just kept trying to attack.”
His team tried to strike back in the third quarter, with the goal of being down 10 going into the fourth. Loughlin put together a 13-4 run, finished up with a Jordan layup, an Aliyah Alston floater and a Jasmine Alston transition basket, to cut the TMLA lead to 46-33 with 4:50 left in the third. The Hilltoppers came charging back with a 10-0 spurt of their own, thwarting any chance of a comeback.
“We went from reaching our goal with momentum on our side,” Kasim Alston said. “Then we just had a breakdown. … They are [still] playing with pride and passion.”