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Rob Potter | Democrat

Eldred’s Lauren Hazen tries to drive past Coleman Catholic defender Taylor Leonard (14) during the fourth quarter of Friday night’s Section IX Class D girls’ basketball championship game at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh.

Coleman Catholic defeats Eldred in ‘D’ championship game

By Rob Potter
NEWBURGH — March 9, 2010 — The John A. Coleman Catholic Stateswomen wasted little time in taking control of the Section IX Class D girls’ basketball championship game on Friday night at Mount Saint Mary College.
Top-seeded and defending state Class D champion Coleman jumped out to an 11-1 advantage at the end of the first quarter on its way to a 58-21 victory over the second-seeded Eldred Lady Yellowjackets.
With the win, Coleman (17-3) earned a berth in the Class D semifinals. The Stateswomen will play an opponent to be determined at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
Senior guard Taylor Leonard swished a 3-pointer from the corner and a jump shot from just inside the 19-foot, 9-inch arc to help Coleman take its 10-point lead in the first eight minutes of the contest.
Junior center Sage Owens scored the Lady Yellowjackets’ only point of the quarter on a free throw with 6:34 to go.
Coleman continued its good shooting performance in the second period. With 4:19 remaining, Melanie Kuhn made a jump shot to extend her team’s lead to 21-1.
Twenty-two seconds later, Owens scored inside the lane for Eldred (14-3). Owens then swished a pair of foul shots at the 3:17 mark.
But the Stateswomen took a commanding 31-5 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Coleman outscored the Lady Yellowjackets, 10-6, in the third quarter. Owens scored all six of Eldred’s points in the stanza.
Melody O’Connor led Coleman with 14 points. Crystal Juliano and Kate Shults recorded eight points apiece for the Stateswomen, while Leonard and Lauren Carnevali each added seven points.
“I’m confident in my team,” Coleman Coach Guy Leonard said. “I think we can play with anybody.
“I thought we did a good job defensively,” he added. “We knew that Owens was their big scorer. She had some points tonight, but their perimeter players didn’t shoot well.”
Owens finished with a game-high 16 points. Sam Ferguson and Heather Ouellette completed the scoring for the Lady Yellowjackets with three points and two points, respectively.
The loss not only ended Eldred’s season, it brought the career of Coach Frank Kean to a close. Kean, a math teacher who has coached girls’ basketball teams at Eldred Central School for more than three decades, will be retiring at the end of the current school year in June.
“We had a great season and we can’t let this loss overshadow it,” said Kean, whose team won the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI title with perfect 7-0 record in the division. “The girls wanted to keep winning all year for me and I appreciate them for that. I am proud of them for the way they played and I am proud of the community for coming out to support our team, it really means a lot to me.
“I am very pleased with our team this season,” he continued. “We went from a 6 and 13 record last season to 14 and 3 this season. It was just an amazing run.”
Eldred will lose six seniors – Birkin Abreu, Amanda Busch, Kelsey Ferguson, Jill Harris, Lauren Hazen and Caitlin Martin – to graduation in June.

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