When everything is working for Nazareth, when all that Division I talent is clicking on all cylinders there are few teams that the Lady Kingsmen can’t hang with.
“We feel unstoppable,” junior point guard Darius Faulk said. “If we’re shooting well, hitting layups, making free throws, playing ‘D,’ we feel nobody can beat us. And that all starts with our confidence.”
That has been at a season high lately. It showed again in Nazareth’s 67-46 drubbing of Mary Louis in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I girls basketball on Jan. 16 at the Nazareth MLK Showcase in Brooklyn.
The Lady Kingsmen (14-2) knocked down eight first-half 3-pointers and used a 16-0 run in the second quarter to take a nearly insurmountable 44-19 lead into the break. They hit nine 3s in total and coach Apache Paschall called it his team’s best shooting performance of the season.
“If you get even a couple [3-pointers] – you don’t need a lot, just a couple – then people have to step out and respect it and the lane opens and kids get layups,” Paschall said. “I just think we have this year so much balance if our guards are playing well and our forwards are playing well.”
No one played better Sunday than guard Brianna Sidney. She poured in 25 points with four 3-pointers in her best offensive game of the season. The senior, one of the top outside shooters in the area, was in a funk the last few weeks, but she started the game off with a 3 at the 7:18 mark of the first quarter and didn’t slow down from there.
“I’ve just been working on my shot, trying to keep a positive attitude,” Sidney said. “Today I just came and showed my hard work.”
Nazareth turned a 16-14 lead near the end of the first quarter into a 32-14 bulge with 4:29 left to go in the half. Sidney had eight of those 16 points, including two 3-pointers, during the run.
“She’s a streaky shooter anyway,” Paschall said. “Normally if she hits her first or second, then she really gets into a groove. We’re just trying to get her to a point that even if she misses three or four, people still gotta step out and defend. That gives us the opportunity to open up that lane.”
Sidney wasn’t the only one filling it up. Faulk had 14 points, including a season-high three 3-pointers, Bray’Shey Ali had 11 points and Taylor Ford added nine. Ali and freshman guard Bianca Cuevas also made shots from beyond the arc in an impressive first half. Reana Mohamed had 18 points and Karin Robinson had 12 points for Mary Louis (9-3).