Too tall, too tough, too quick -- Buffalo Seminary coach Will Prout wasn't fussy about which category did his team in on Saturday.
Preston High School of the Bronx took advantage of all its strengths to dominate Buffalo Seminary, 67-32, in the Catholic State Tournament. The Class D semifinal game was witnessed by 150 fans at Binghamton High School.
"I don't think it was anything that we didn't do right or we did wrong," Prout said. "It was just that they were bigger, stronger, faster. They're a very good team."
Preston (17-7), representatives of the Archdiocese of New York City, advances to today's championship game while Buffalo Seminary ends its season 14-11.
Preston's 6-foot-1 junior center, Kim Alexander, made life miserable for the Sirens all game. Alexander led all scorers with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
"She uses her body well," said Prout. "She'd push to make some room on the inside, they'd drop the ball into her, and she just put it down. There's not much you can do."
Alexander was five inches taller than Buffalo Seminary's tallest starter, allowing her to post up at will, but she wasn't a factor early.
The Panthers jumped out to a 12-2 lead before Alexander scored her first points. Nine first-quarter turnovers and a five-minute scoring drought found the Sirens playing catchup before some players had broken a sweat.
Preston started the second quarter on an 11-0 run and led, 36-16, at the half. The Sirens struggled to find any offensive flow and launched several outside shots that were way off the mark.
The second half was more of the same as Preston outscored Buffalo Seminary, 18-8. The fourth quarter was a chance for both coaches to play their benches.
Buffalo Seminary junior guard/forward Alison Ragusa entered the game leading with team in seven categories, including scoring (12 ppg). She had nine double-doubles and earned Msgr. Martin Association Division II MVP honors.
The Panthers held Ragusa to nine points on 4-of-11 shooting. The Sirens made 4 of 17 free throws.
Ragusa's sophomore sister, Kathryn, added nine points, which included a pair of three-pointers.
Buffalo Seminary, which became a full-fledged member of the MMA after playing only Division II teams in the MMA in the past, was making its first appearance in the state playoffs.