McClancy Girls Cap Off Inaugural Season with Diocesan Crown

As of now, the Msgr. McClancy M.H.S., East Elmhurst, junior varsity girls’ basketball team can say that it owns a 100 percent success rate in capturing the Division II Brooklyn/Queens diocesan title.

That’s because the Lady Crusaders won the league championship in their inaugural season as a team. McClancy went coed in fall 2012 and has welcomed a vibrant girls’ sports program.

The 2012-2013 Division II JV Brooklyn/Queens champion McClancy Lady Crusaders (Photo courtesy Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.)
The 2012-2013 Division II JV Brooklyn/Queens champion McClancy Lady Crusaders (Photo courtesy Msgr. McClancy M.H.S.)

The team earned a 41-16 victory March 2 over St. Edmund Prep, Sheepshead Bay, relying on a 17-6 run in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

The Lady Crusaders finished the season with a 19-5 record and were a perfect 12-0 in league play.

Even more impressive than its record is that the team is comprised of only freshmen, since the school opted to gradually go coed rather than offer enrollment to upperclassmen. However, that didn’t stop the team from gaining the confidence necessary to hoist the Brooklyn/Queens crown.

“Building up their confidence was key to going forward,” said head coach Brenda O’Riordan. “We also stressed the importance of teamwork and that if we could work together, then we would be able to compete with anybody.”

Team chemistry proved to be the defining factor of this year’s Lady Crusaders squad. Though the girls played together for the first time in early November, O’Riordan saw the makings of a successful team right away.

“It was the way they jelled as a team immediately that made this group special,” she said. “They have really formed strong friendships off the court that has led to a mutual trust and drive to succeed on the court.”

Not only did the players on this year’s team make history by being part of the first-ever female class at McClancy, but now they can say that their names will be forever etched in school’s sports record books.

“We are the first class of girls, and we made our school proud,” said forward Kayla Boggs from St. Joseph’s parish, Astoria. “We have shown that with the hard work we put in, we can strive and accomplish our goals.”

“We learned from each other because we trust each other,” said Melissa Perez from Our Lady of Miraculous Medal parish, Ridgewood. “I’m happy we got to experience this season together.”

The scary thought for the rest of the league is that McClancy was so successful in just its first year. Now that this group has a year of experience, the makings of a basketball dynasty might be on the horizon.

“Things are only going to get better,” O’Riordan said. “They have set the bar high for themselves, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they will continue to push to improve their game.”

But even more important than winning basketball games and diocesan titles, the Lady Crusaders will cherish the friendships they’ve made from their first year playing together as the program continues to grow.

“I feel like I have a second family,” said center Ashley Martin of St. Mary’s Gate of Heaven parish, Ozone Park. “We’re all like sisters and will always have this special bond.”