Bishop Loughlin seniors Jasmine Alston and Imani Tate helped the Lions bounce back from consecutive losses with a key league win that keeps them in contention for an appearance in Catholic Class AA state playoffs for the first time.
The Albany-bound Tate scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Alston, who is headed to LaSalle, had 23 points to lead the Lions to 70–58 home win over Mary Louis in Brooklyn-Queens girls basketball on Monday night.
Bishop Loughlin (8–8, 4–4) has defeated Mary Louis (9–9, 2–6) twice this season. The win keeps the Lions in fourth place, and in line for the final ‘AA’ playoff spot.
The team jumped out to an early, 12-point, first-quarter lead by controlling the tempo behind the play of its senior guards. Bishop Loughlin was able to push the ball up the court for easy layups throughout the game. It came as no surprise to Tate.
“We came out expecting to win,” she said. “It was a game we felt we should have won and we went out and fought very hard.”
Alston has seen the players fight to grow the program. Loughlin went 0–16 when she was a freshman and ended up winning the State Federation Class A title last season. Now they want more — and to leave a winning culture behind.
“We feel like we can only do better now,” Alston said. “So the years after us they know they have to keep picking it up.”
The Lions didn’t cut Mary Louis any slack with a suffocating full-court press that led to numerous turnovers by the less experienced Mary Louis backcourt. Loughlin was not immune to mistakes, however.The team had its share of turnovers and unnecessary fouls, which frustrated the coach.
“I felt like we had a lot of unforced turnovers that made the game harder than it was supposed to be,” first-year Loughlin head coach Chez Williams said.
Williams was pleased by the effort of his bench, however. Junior guard Rayse Brown led the charge off the bench with six points, and freshman forward Ardelia Brown secured eight rebounds. It took a little pressure off Tate and Alston.
“It’s very important for the people on the bench to play just as well as the starters,” Williams said.
That dynamic has Loughlin in position for possibly its best season in recent years.
“We just wanted to come back with a bang,” Alston said. “We want to make us more known.”