BOGOTA, NJ -- While some middle school girls spent their holiday break visiting friends, going to the mall, or catching the latest movies, a team of girls from Corpus Christi spent their break on the basketball court, bringing home second place in the St. Joe’s Bogota Christmas Tournament.
After an early round loss, the Cougars defeated host team, St. Joe's, Bogota, 41-29, and went on to face St. Philip's in the final. Down by 17 at the half, the Cougars clawed their way back and cut the deficit to 10 in the third quarter. A valiant comeback, but in the end the Cougars were on the short side of a 51-29 final score. High scorers for the tournament were Paige McGuire, Devon Sonzogni, and Samantha Lahullier.
“The coaches were pleased with how all the girls are accepting their roles on the squad, and there is never any quit or let down in our girls,” said Jerry Drennan, head coach. “It's a delicate balance when there are 13 separate personalities involved, but all the girls are putting the team ahead of their individual accomplishments.”
The team started the season with two regular-season victories over St. Mary’s Pompton Lake (41-16) and St. Catherine’s Cedar Grove (33-20.)
This year the team consists of both seventh and eighth graders. After posting an 8-12 record the previous year, the Cougars came into the season with an agenda.
"We call ourselves "Cinderella", because we feel that no one expects us at ‘the ball,’” said Drennan. “Our goal never involves the word "win", but in getting the most, team and individual, of which we are capable. When that happens, everything else falls into place. Check us out again around play off time.”
The Corpus Christi Cougars roster:
Players: Chiara Alvarez, Devon Sonzogni, Paige McGuire, Emily Cosgrove, Delia Crowley, Laura Flores, Alexis Mason, Leslie McFarlane, Chloe Antigua, Samantha Lahullier, Meghan Stellhorn, Juliana Bono, Tess Cangialose
Coaches: Jerry Drennan, Dave DeMicco, Ken Antigua