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O'Hara girls face familiar foe in state Catholic basketball semifinals

Cardinal O'Hara will face a familiar foe in The Mary Louis Academy when it opens the New York State Catholic High Schools Athletic Association girls basketball semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday at St. John's Prep in New York City.

The Hawks (20-5) dropped a 53-47 decision to the state's third-ranked Class AA team back in January during the NYC Mecca Invitational.

The Mary Louis Academy (17-7) won the Brooklyn-Queens CHSAA Class AA title behind the efforts of McDonald's All-American Danielle Patterson, who scored 24 points, and Vanerlie Valcourt, who scored the game-winning basket in that 66-64 triumph over longtime power Christ The King.

The winner of that game faces either Monsignor Scanlan or St. Anthony's for the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fordham University.

Cardinal O'Hara, which won its fourth straight Monsignor Martin championship and played an aggressive nonleague schedule this season to prepare for the postseason, isn't the only area team participating in the state Catholic tournament.

Defending Class A champion Sacred Heart begins its title defense at Holy Trinity in Hicksville at 6 p.m. Friday against Monsignor McClancy. Nardin meets St. Joseph at 5 p.m. Friday at Sacred Heart in Yonkers.

The winners advance to title games also at Fordham on Saturday with the Class B final slated for 3 p.m. and the Class A title contest at 5 p.m.

All Catholic champions earn berths into the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions in Glens Falls the weekend of March 24-26.

Also playing for a spot in Glens Falls is St. Mary's of Lancaster's boys basketball team. The Manhattan Cup Class B champions face La Salle Academy at 11 a.m. Saturday for the state Catholic title at Fordham University.

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