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Coaches vs. Cancer Round-up: Poly falls to Holy Child

Asking Poly Prep to guard Sophia Aleksandravicius just didn’t seem fair.

The Holy Child senior center, who is heading to Davidson in the fall, stands 6-feet-4, while Poly’s tallest player is Cherkira Lashley at 5-foot-9.

“We doubled down on her the whole time, she’s a great player,” senior Kelsey Donohue said. “Sometimes we had to triple down.”

Aleksandravicius scored 35 points, but Poly found a way to stay in the game by connecting on 12 3-pointers. In the end, though. Aleksandravicius was too much as the Blue Devils fell, 61-56, at the Coaches vs. Cancer Girls’ Basketball Classic at Fieldston in the Bronx.

“We basically live by the three and die by the 3,” Poly Prep head coach Michael Junsch said. “One of the things we do is we go to the basket, but with a 6-4 presence in the middle it kind of put a damper on it.”

Freshman Katie Friel dropped in 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and Kelsey Donohue scored 18 points and knocked down five 3-point shots of her own for the Blue Devils (8-8). Donohue got hot late from the top of the key, four of her treys came from there in the second half, helping Poly to close to within 56-54 with 2:26 left in the game on a potential Nicole Vanchieri three-point play.

“That’s probably one of my favorite spots up there,” Donohue said of the top of the key.

Aleksandravicius was too much to handle after that, scoring Holy Child’s next four points and extending its lead to 60-53 with 58 seconds left. Jillian Boulhosa added 10 points for Holy Child (13-2).

“I told the girls every time you make a mistake, she is going to score,” Junsch said of Aleksandravicius.

Still Poly walks away with only positives from this one.

“There is nobody in our league who is quite as tall as her,” Donohue said. “It was definitely good practice for us.”

Riverdale 46, Brearley 32: Sophomore Chelsea Baez scored 19 of her career-high 29 points in the first half on her 16th birthday for Riverdale.

“I get this adrenaline rush, where once I start, I feel like I can’t stop,” Baez said.

She scored 10 straight points, including two of her three 3-pointers, to give the Falcons a 15-4 lead with 7:02 left in the first. Brearley cut the lead to 17-10 with her on the bench, but she returned to score eight more points before halftime to put Riverdale (7-6) up 25-12 at the break.

Brearley, which was led by Alex Weston’s seven points, cut Riverdale’s lead to 31-23 with 3:40 remaining in the third. It began attacking the basket more and controlling the paint.

“I think they brought more intensity and were more aggressive than us,” Baez said. “I think we came out thinking that because we were up that we had the game.”

Brearley wouldn’t get closer as Riverdale secured control for good. Zoe Greenfield connected on a jumper and Morgan Brock Smith, who had six points, scored in the post to put Riverdale back up comfortably. Aiyanna Isom added six points for Brearley.

Rye Country Day 44, Fieldston 36: Brittany Thompson scored 15 points and Chyna Strickland added 13 for Fieldston, which could not overcome a very slow start. The Eagles, who struggled shooting from the outside, trailed 24-9 at the half. Starting guard Jacqueline Schoninger missed the majority of the game with migraines.

Fieldston would rally though, cutting the lead to nine numerous times in the second half as it began to make more hustle plays and attacked the basket. The Eagles (13-5) got it down to 44-36 with 18 seconds left, but no closer.

Alexandra Osborne-Jones scored 20 points for Rye Country Day (6-1) and Veronica Roman added 13.

“In the second half, we started to execute,” Fieldston coach Rock Rosa said. “We started to get the ball on the floor and get the kick outs and then we got good lucks and I think the confidence started to rise and once they started to feel the confidence the pressure [defense] started to step up.”

Center Moriches (L.I.) 47, Loyola 25: Senior guard Kelsey Barclay led Loyola (10-10) with 16 points, including two 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Anna Marie Paolicelli added eight points. Morgan Brock-Smith scored 12 points for Center Moriches (13-3) and Tori Goodell added 11. Loyola trailed 19-2 after the first quarter.   

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