|ESPN.com: Girls Basketball||[Print without images]|
|Sophomore Sierra Calhoun had 20 points, including several key baskets late in the game, as Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) upset No. 8 Cicero-North Syracuse (Cicero, N.Y.) 66-60 during The Mecca in the Bronx, N.Y., on Saturday.|
BRONX, N.Y. -- This past holiday season, Bob Mackey's tree was figuratively bare and he wondered if he'd been too Grinch-like with his young girls' basketball team at Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.).Back then, Mackey's Royals were a royal mess. They had opened the season with losses to one of the area's top teams and a nationally ranked team from Pennsylvania. From there, they played in the top division of the Nike Tournament of Champions and were swept by four other nationally ranked teams. "When you're 0-6 at Christmas, you start scratching your head," the Royals' head coach said. "I had a young team that I put on a national schedule, and hoped. They could have easily folded after that." Sophomore Sierra Calhoun could have bypassed her passage to stardom. Junior Amani Fernandez could have foregone paving her road to redemption. And people could have continued writing off one of the country's most storied programs. But then they would have missed out on Christ the King's shocking, 66-60 upset of Cicero-North Syracuse (Cicero, N.Y.), which was ranked No. 8 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and featured the nation's top senior, Breanna Stewart. Sunday's was the second major upset at The Mecca, a high-school shootout hosted by South Shore (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and the Lady Choz club program. St. Anthony's (Huntington, N.Y.) stunned No. 2 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 49-48 on Chastity Taylor's free throw with 2.5 seconds left on Saturday. The event, which produced a parade of individual talent and evenly matched contests, also saw No. 7 Nazareth (Brooklyn, N.Y.) have to claw its way to an 83-73 win over upset-minded Manasquan (N.J.) on Sunday. Earlier in the day, No. 20 Shabazz (Newark, N.J.) broke open what had been a tight contest against H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.) to win 69-53. The highlight of Sunday's six-game slate was the duel down the stretch between Stewart and Calhoun, a 6-foot-1 wing ranked No. 11 in the 2014 class by ESPN HoopGurlz. Like most teams, Christ the King didn't have a lot of answers for Stewart, who had a game-high 31 points. "You plot and you plan for a (6-3) guard who can do everything," Mackey said. "You just pray." And make plays.
|Kollyns Scarbrough (21) and her Christ the King teammates couldn't do much more than keep Cicero-North Syracuse star Breanna Stewart entangled.|
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Discuss this on our Message BoardGlenn Nelson is a senior writer at ESPN.com and the founder of HoopGurlz.com. A graduate of Seattle University and Columbia University, he formerly coached girls' club basketball, was a co-founder and editor-in-chief of an online sports network, authored a basketball book for kids, has had his photography displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, and was a longtime, national-award-winning newspaper columnist and writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.