Brittany McDonough proved too much for Brooklyn to handle.
Goldstein’s precocious sophomore point guard, had 27 points on an absurd seven 3-pointers – one longer than the next – to lead the top-seeded Dolphins to a 49-37 win over No. 12 Brooklyn Collegiate in the PSAL Class B girls basketball semifinals at Hunter College in Manhattan on Sunday, March 14.
“When I get in moods like that, I just feel like I can’t miss,” McDonough said.
Every time Brooklyn Collegiate (12-3) made a run, she answered with a 3. When the Lions got within 31-21 with 2:02 left in the third quarter, McDonough hit two in a row. When the Lions got within 37-28 with 7:22 left in the game, she hit a long one with a hand in her face. When the Lions made their best run, getting within 42-35 with 4:19 left, McDonough hit a ridiculous 28-footer with time running down on the shot clock.
Goldstein (20-2), which meets No. 14 Academy of American Studies in the final at 11 a.m. this Saturday, March 20, at St. Francis College, wouldn’t be challenged again.
“We shoot those in practice, just joking around,” junior Chrissy McKeever said. “She’s the only one who makes them.”
Though McDonough was the absolute spark on the offensive end, Goldstein coach Adrian Buchhalter loves to talk about defense. His goal was to shut down Brooklyn Collegiate star Emonni Cropper, the explosive younger sister of Jefferson’s Alicia Cropper. The Dolphins used a box-and-one, rotating four different girls – Danielle Natoli, Stephanie Caravello, Danielle Bonsignore and Brianna Rogers – on her. Cropper was held to 11 points when she usually averages 27.2 per game.
“That’s the game,” Buchhalter said. “We made sure we always had her covered.”
It was difficult covering Goldstein though. McKeever had 13 points and Nora Elbassiony added eight. The Dolphins looked like a completely different team than the one that struggled against East Harlem in the quarterfinals Wednesday night.
“They were more relaxed today,” Buchhalter said. “Jump shooting is a lot like golf. You do it better when you’re relaxed.”
And there was no one better at it Sunday than McDonough.
“Once she gets on, she’s on,” McKeever said. “She was just on the whole day. I think brings everyone else up, too.”