Fontbonne 39 St. Joseph 38
The old saying “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” aptly applied to the Fontbonne Varsity Basketball Team this season as the 2020 Bonnies captured the Brooklyn-Queens Division A Championship on March 8 at Xaverian High School.
The Bonnies struggled this season with a sub .500 regular season record after being given a more competitive regional intersectional schedule. However, after beating rival St. Edmund Prep 30-26 in this year’s semi-final playoff round, the Bonnies gained a second wind to advance to the championship game to play the St. Joseph Cougars who finished as the Division A regular season winners.
“You could tell that the girls came ready to play; but you could also see that they were ready to win too,” said Assistant Coach Bob Atanasio after the St. Edmund win and several days of good practices. Playing the team for the championship that had beaten Fontbonne twice during the regular season, the Bonnies matched the Cougars “basket for basket” for a tied score of 19-19 at the half.
Led by the game’s high scorer (14 points) Maria Grzegorski, Fontbonne went on a 15-6 run to take a 34-25 third quarter lead. In the fourth quarter St. Joseph answered back with a 13-5 run that brought the game down to 3.2 seconds with Fontbonne maintaining a slim 39-38 lead.
With the Cougars trailing by just one point, St. Joseph’s Bowens missed her second foul shot as Chloe Murphy denied the Cougars a possible winning basket by grabbing the game-saving rebound for the Bonnies. After gaining the critical possession, Fontbonne Head Coach Steve Oliver called time out so the Bonnies could in-bound the ball at half court to run out the final seconds for the championship win.
After the Brooklyn-Queens Championship win, the Bonnies qualified to advance to play Staten Island’s Moore Catholic High School for the Division A City Championship where Fontbonne lost 47-38 to the highly favored Mavericks.
After the game Coach Oliver summed up the season for his team stating, “It was a challenging and surprising season for us. You came on strong at the end of the season and look what you accomplished. The seniors will walk away with a great memory forever, and now the underclassmen have something to build on for next season.”