Seton Saints win state tourney of champions semifinal

The Seton Catholic Central High School girls basketball team huddles during a break in the Saints’ 84-38 victory over Holcombe L. Rucker of the Bronx on Friday at Glens Falls Civic Center. (SUN PHOTO | RYAN HAYNER)

Lexi Levy scores 30 points in romp over Bronx school

By Ryan Hayner, Contributing writer

 

GLENS FALLS — Seton Catholic coach Colleen Jayne didn’t know a whole lot about Holcombe L. Rucker heading into Friday’s Federation Tournament of Champions Class B girls basketball semifinals.

That unknown was difficult for her, she said. But she also had the reassurance of senior guard Lexi Levy.

“I have somebody in Lexi telling me, ‘We’ll win today, Coach. We’re going to win. We’re going to move on,'” Jayne said.

Levy backed up that confidence, scoring 18 of her game-high 30 points in the first half as Seton Catholic raced out to a commanding lead and cruised to an 84-38 win over Holcombe L. Rucker at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

“I believe in them when they are all in like that, and it showed today,” Jayne said.

The tournament features league champions from around the state. The Saints (27-1), the New York State Public High School Athletic Association champs who are making their first Federation appearance, will take their 25-game win streak into the championship game against Aquinas (Bronx) 2 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center. Aquinas is the champion of the Catholic High School Athletic Association.

Ava McCann added 20 points for the Saints, who scored the game’s first 11 points and built a 30-10 lead less than three minutes into the second quarter. McCann sank five 3-pointers to help Seton Catholic go into the half ahead 47-20.

“We just set our minds to this and came out really, really strong,” said Seton Catholic’s Hanna Strawn, who scored 13 points.

Julia Hauer had nine points, 13 rebounds, and five assists for the Saints, who overwhelmed the Lady Mavericks with their run-and-gun style. Seton Catholic dominated in transition — turning defensive rebounds and steals into easy buckets. Levy was especially active on the defensive end, finishing with six steals. The team tallied 15 takeaways.

“Our defense does create our offense,” Levy said. “We work a lot on that, just getting the outlet, getting it up the floor.”

While the full-court game was highly effective, it was long-range shooting that propelled the Saints early on. McCann sank three triples and Levy added another in the first four minutes for a 14-2 lead. McCann and Levy would connect one more time each to finish the quarter ahead by 12.

“I feel like that was the game-changer — we start out quick and we shut them down early,” Levy said.

The Saints were 7-for-14 from behind the arc in the first half.

Seton Catholic built on its 27-point halftime lead by reeling off 13 unanswered points to start the third quarter for a 60-20 advantage.

Overall, the Saints shot 48 percent from the field while limiting Holcombe L. Rucker to 29 percent.

“One of the biggest things for us is we really set high goals for our scoring,” Jayne said. “I expect them to get 65 or more points in a game, and when we reach it they aren’t stopping.”

Fatomata Trawalleh led the Bronx-based Lady Mavericks (21-7), coming off their first Public School Athletic League title, with 11 points.

State Federation Class B Semifinals

Seton Catholic 84 (27-1)

Player…………..Points

Lexi Levy……………30

Ava McCann……….20

Hanna Strawn……..13

Julia Hauer………….9

Marina Maerkl……..8

Emily Dempsey……2

Erin O’Brien…………2

Total………………..84

Holcombe L. Rucker (21-7)

Player……………..Points

Fatomata Trawalleh..11

Jada Rojas………………6

Gia Marie Correa……..5

Frances Morales……..4

Jada Simon…………….4

Traynise Delaney……3

Angelina Arias……….2

Tiffany Levy…………..2

Chyna Moore…………1

Total…………………..38

Holcombe L. Rucker…10..10…8…10 – 38

Seton Catholic………..22..25..21..16 – 84

Team stats: Shooting: Seton 28-58 FG, 18-24 FT; Rucker 14-48 FG, 9-18 FT. Total fouls: Seton 15, Rucker 16. Rebounds: Seton 27, Rucker 16.

Seton stats: Strawn, 2 assists, 3 steals; Levy, 6 steals, 4 assists; Maerkl, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 1 block; Hauer, 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 5 assists, 2 blocks.

 

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