Taylor Woytek scores 17 for Cardinals in victory over East High girls
By Jim Flick
The Cardinal Mooney girls basketball team got off to a fast start on offense Saturday and throughout the game grabbed missed shots as they defeated East, 50-38.
Mooney’s Taylor Woytek, a senior, rebounded a teammate’s missed shot and scored the opening points of the game on her way to a game-high 17 points.
Katrina Larson, a senior, pulled down nine rebounds for the Cardinals and scored nine points. Sophomore Jamie DiDomenico contributed nine points for Mooney (5-4).
Alize Robinson, a junior, came off the bench to sink three 3-pointers and score 11 points to lead East (3-7).
Chimicka Kennedy, a junior, tallied eight points for East, while seniors Maujannette Feagins and Zatona Yancey each contributed six points. Yancey led East in rebounds, snagging nine to match Larson.
But Mooney outrebounded East, 44-33. Cardinals coach Bill Ritter said the rebounding margin was the key to victory.
“We hit the boards pretty well. We were trying to limit them to one shot, and we accomplished that for most of the game,” he said.
“We controlled the tempo of the game,” Ritter added. “We matched their intensity and got to the free throw line, which was our game plan.”
Mooney scored 20 points from the free throw line in 29 attempts. On the other hand, East scored only seven points from the charity stripe in 14 attempts.
After Woytek opened the scoring, Kennedy sank a field goal to pull East even. Mooney junior Brie Ozenghar and senior Christine Pellini each sank field goals, and while Larson and Woytek each added a pair of free throws for Mooney. Meanwhile, Feagins connected on a field for East’s only other points of the quarter.
Mooney led 10-4 after the first quarter.
Mooney widened the margin in the second quarter, outscoring East 15-11 to take a 25-15 lead into the locker room at halftime. Woytek added four more points in the second stanza.
The Cardinals kept scoring in the third quarter and turned on the defensive pressure, outscoring the Panthers 14-7 to extend their lead to 39-22.
Robinson sank her first 3-pointer late in the third quarter for East, and added two more long-range treys in the fourth quarter.
“She caught fire,” said East coach Tanisha Franklin, “which gave us a boost and some kind of momentum. But unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”
With Robinson sparking the offense, East outscored Mooney 16-11 in the fourth quarter. Woytek tallied nine points in the second half.
“I’m pleased with our team’s effort,” said Ritter. “East made a couple of runs at us, and we answered. So I’m very pleased with the effort. Not the complete execution, but the effort was very good.”
“I think our defensive intensity kept us in the game,” said Franklin. “I think we played well on the defensive end. It was just that offensively we couldn’t score. We missed a lot of shots and weren’t rebounding.
“We need to see ourselves ahead and build up our confidence.”