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No Brown out in season opener for Bishop Ford

Shayra Brown was seemingly everywhere doing everything.

The junior forward had a hand in every Bishop Ford run one way or another. Sometimes she was at the end of a fast break and sometimes at its start. She was scoring in the paint or on a short jumper from the corner.

Brown scored 24 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had five steals to lead Bishop Ford to a 65-36 win over host Bishop Loughlin in non-league CHSAA girls’ basketball last night.

“She has to play in different ways to make things happen,” Falcon’s coach John LoSasso said. “Once we stop and slow down, teams will exploit us. We have to disrupt things and she has to be the big disrupter.”

Then consider it mission accomplished for Brown and Ford (1-0) in its season-opening win and LoSasso’s first at the school as varsity coach.

“It’ a good start,” Vanessa D’Ambrosi said. “We still need to work hard and still keep running.”

Something Ford did plenty of against Loughlin. Ford, a CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I squad, forced turnovers and got out in transition during a 7-0 run to start the second quarter to take a 23-9 lead with 5:56 left in the first half. Loughlin, a Division II team, cut the lead to just 30-20 at the break thanks senior guard Ariel Gotay scoring six of her 19 points in the first 2:50 of the half. The Lions (1-2) stayed close, down just 37-25 midway through the third quarter, but then Ford used its trapping defense to force Loughlin into another stretch of turnovers to spark a quick 8-0 run that put the game out of reach.

Brown and D’Ambrosi finished the majority of the fast breaks started by Catherine Cassidy, Diani Mason and Anjali Moncrieffe during the run. D’Ambrosi scored two of her 19 points on a pass from Mason to start the spurt and ended it with a baby hook in the lane to give Ford a 45-25 lead with 30 seconds left in the third. The junior also added five rebounds and six assists. Brown scored two layups in between on passes from D’Ambrosi and then Cassidy, who had 10 assists.

“It’s easy for me,” Brown said. “Fast breaks, that is our main thing. That’s what we try to do.”

They did it well last night along with finding the passing lanes in the Loughlin defense. The combination of pressure, speed and smart passing was too much for the Lions.

“We didn’t play our best tonight,” Loughlin’s Zoe Munlyn said. “It definitely gave us a wakeup call. It helped us realized what we have to work on.”

For Ford, now it is about building on its success.

“I’m always happy with a victory,” LoSasso said. “But they say the biggest room in the world is room for improvement. So we have a big room to fill.”

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