Curtis beats Goldstein in PSAL Class A final
The Curtis girls basketball program started an entirely new chapter in September. New coach Bob Daggett arrived from the closed down St. Peters High School for girls and brought in six of his girls from a program accustomed to winning in Staten Island.
As one of the six arrivals, Danielle Leguillou wasn’t happy when she heard the whispers that they wouldn’t jell with the rest of the Curtis roster.
From the first day of practice, Curtis had a mission to prove the doubters wrong. A young starting five comprised exclusively of underclassmen and the six transfers are playing their best ball at the right time.
On Sunday afternoon at City College, the Warriors displayed an offensive fireworks show that blinded top-seeded Leon Goldstein as second-seeded Curtis raced out to a 20-3 lead after one quarter and cruised to a 61-30 over Leon Goldstein to win the PSAL Class A title.
“I’m so happy, in the beginning of the year we were getting false comments,” Leguillou said. “It was just the Peter’s girls, the Peter’s girls, but we’re the Warriors now. We are all Warriors.”
Leguillou, who was named the game’s MVP, led Curtis (21-8) with 15 points and five rebounds. Fellow St. Peter’s transfer Kristen Olsen scored 10 points with six rebounds and Shannon McGill, who sat out a year at St. Peter’s after transferring from St. John Villa, added nine points.
Curtis receives a bye into the New York State Federation Class A championship and will play either East High School of Rochester or Bishop Loughlin Saturday afternoon at the Times Union Center. Curtis made its fourth appearance in the PSAL ‘A’ title game. It previously won in 2008, but lost last year to top-seeded Wings and also fell in 2003.
The Warriors proved they were deadly shooters in the first half. Olsen knocked down two 3-pointers to give Curtis an early 14-3 lead and Jessica Rosalbo collared a loose ball with time running out in the first quarter and heaved a half court one-handed shot that banked off the backboard and give the Warriors even more momentum.
Daggett finally got his team to play consistently for all four quarters, which is a point he has harped on all season. The Warriors also showed plenty of energy on the defensive end as Leguillou held Goldstein point guard Brittany McDonough, the Division II Chestnut Hill bound senior, to a season low of only two points. Nora Elbassiony, who along with McDonough scored 1,000 career points, only had seven points. Danielle Natoli led Goldstein (23-3) with 10 points and four assists.
“They made shots, got lucky making shots, but we defended,” Daggett said “You know we didn’t let them get to the basket. We saw them driving it, driving it [to the basket] and we played good defense.”
Olsen said her team fought the label as being the favorites to win the ‘A’ title. Curtis finished second in the Staten Island A division to McKee/Staten Island Tech. The Seagulls earned the lone spot to the Class AA playoffs and lost to Bergtraum in the title game Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
The discussion whether Curtis belongs in the PSAL ‘AA’ will have to be tabled until after the season. For now, Daggett is enjoying the fact that his Warriors bought into the system of becoming one team.
“First day of our practice they came in with their St. Peter’s stuff on, and I made them leave and change it. What we accomplished at St. Peter’s was nice, but it’s over,” Daggett said. “We represent Curtis. The kids assimilated well. The school has been great, gave me an opportunity to coach and bring our kids in. That’s great.”