Gloucester Catholic girls lose to powerful Shabazz

Posted: January 28, 2014

The Shabazz girls' basketball players had packed their bags and put on their jackets. They were on the court chatting with family and friends.

Gloucester Catholic parents were starting to look at their watches. Their team was still in the locker room long after its lopsided 60-43 loss to Shabazz Sunday night during the ESPN Girls Shootout at Holy Spirit.

Thirty-two minutes against the reigning Tournament of Champions winner offered a coaching opportunity that Rams coach Lisa Gedaka couldn't pass up.

"After the game, I told the girls I'd rather play Shabazz any day than a team we're going to beat by 50," Gedaka said. "You want to play Shabazz to get better - to see where you are as a team."

Shabazz's starting five featured three seniors and two juniors. The Rams' starting five featured two seniors, two sophomores and a junior.

"We are going to learn from this," Gedaka said. "We matched their aggressiveness tonight. But after the game we talked about what we didn't do well, and that's how you get better."

But there were positives, including Gedaka's daughter, Mary.

The sophomore forward was strong in every phase of the game, netting a game-high 22 points to go with eight rebounds, three blocks, two steals, and two assists.

"This game can only make us better," Mary Gedaka said.

Gedaka netted 9 of her team's 15 first-quarter points - a period that saw the Rams (10-2) play competitively throughout and end the period down by just three.

But the game got away from Gloucester Catholic, ranked No. 2 in South Jersey by The Inquirer, in the second quarter. The Rams were outscored 19-3 in the period as Shabazz (12-1) ended the half on a 13-0 run thanks to a remarkably balanced attack.

The pattern continued, and Shabazz was winning by 60-28 with 6 minutes, 24 seconds left before Gloucester Catholic ended the game on a 15-0 run, mostly scored against Shabazz backups.

Gloucester Catholic 15 3 10 15 - 43

Shabazz 18 19 19 4 - 60

GC: Becky Pund 8, Kennedi Thompson 2, Mary Gedaka 22, Maggie McIntyre 11.

S: Ivana Negron 5, Acestra Robinson 9, Doniyah Cliney 19, Zaire O'Neil 14, DeAshia Jones 9, Rukiya Abdullah 4.

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