Cuevas, Naz shows Royals who is King
Bianca Cuevas came to Middle Village with a chip on her shoulder. But it had nothing to do with her team feeling disrespected when Christ the King refused to play Nazareth a few days after Lady Kingsmen coach Apache Paschall died.
Her motivation was more personal.
“She’s the number one guard in her class in the state and easily in the country I’d say top five,” Nazareth co-coach Lauren Best said. “She made a statement today about being the top sophomore.”
Cuevas scored a game-high 36 points to help lift Nazareth to a 77-47 win over Christ the King Saturday afternoon. Afterward Cuevas said she proved beyond a doubt that she is the top sophomore guard in New York City, not Christ the King’s Sierra Calhoun, who had 18 points, 14 coming from the free throw line.
“I like going against Calhoun, scoring all her free throws,” Cuevas said. “She got all that fame off her brother.”
Best said Cuevas’ desire to prove her lofty standing in the Class of 2014 also had nothing to do with a magazine article about the Calhouns.
“We’re competitors,” Best said. “It had nothing to do with one article or 10 articles. Bianca is always going to be better.”
On Saturday, at least, there was no one better than Cuevas, who scored in a variety of ways. She scored seven points in a 17-0 run in the second quarter after a sluggish start for Nazareth (11-1), which led 15-14 at the end of the first.
“We came out sloppy,” Falk said. “We had to wake up.”
At halftime, the Lady Kingsmen’s lead was 37-23.
“Turnovers killed us,” Christ the King coach Bob Mackey said. “We missed two rebounds that were key and I thought that’s what killed us in the second quarter. We became a turnover machine. You can’t get outscored 22-9 in a quarter in a caliber of this game.”
Darius Faulk and Briana Butler added eight points apiece for Nazareth, ranked No. 1 in New York City by MSG Varsity. The Lady Kingsmen downplayed the idea of seeking revenge against No. 6 Christ the King (7-10), although there has never been much love lost between the two league rivals.
“It’s always a rivalry,” Best said. “I felt Apache with me so we’re always going to play them hard when we see them. Even if its 3-on-3 and they got CK jerseys on.”
Mackey, though, declined to trade barbs.
“I don’t take shots at other people’s players,” Mackey said. “This is the CHSAA, the Catholic High School League. In AAU, I guess they do that. I don’t know, I don’t coach AAU.”
What Mackey did take umbrage with was that a Nazareth player was erased from the official book after the game officials signed it.
“I don’t know why a player was erased, I have no idea why,” Mackey said. “I’ll give it to the league and let them decide.”
As for the postponed game, Faulk said she’d rather play Christ the King than win via forfeit, as was reportedly recommended by the CHSAA Eligibility and Infractions Committee. The principal’s committee will make a final decision this week.
“It would be better because we could do it all over again,” Faulk said.
Contact Dylan Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org
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