Note: This is not an official ballot. Also, just because a coach’s name isn’t here, that doesn’t mean that Phil and I don’t respect that coach and his/her ability and skill. This is based on this season’s results. The Journal News all-stars article will be published on April 13.
Pat Buckley, Albertus Magnus (14-8): At the beginning of the season, we said that Albertus Magnus was a young, talented team to watch. After a shaky regular season, the Lady Falcons proved they belonged among the section’s best after upsetting top-seeded Pearl River in the Section 1 Class A semifinals, 59-56 in double-overtime. Magnus would later lose to No. 11 Peekskill in the title game. As talented as this team was, Buckley (pictured below with Moylan) was still at the disadvantage of not having his starting point guard Kelly Guarino, who tore her ACL for the second straight year. Buckley broke in a new point guard, junior Ryan Doherty, who shined in the role, and developed players like sophomore Madison McGrath into those worthy of an all-section selection (Doherty was selected, McGrath was snubbed). Led by Manhattan-bound senior Maeve Parahus, the Lady Falcons turned heads this year, and will be one of the top teams to watch next year.
Jennifer Chiera-Frank, Clarkstown South (15-5): For the second consecutive season, Chiera-Frank (pictured above) led the Lady Vikings to an undefeated league championship, but yet they were still given a rather low seed (in my opinion) for the Section 1 Class AA tournament. As the No. 7 seed, the Lady Vikings beat a talented Horace Greeley team in the first round before losing a nail-biter to No. 2 Lourdes on the road. Playing a very competitive schedule, the Lady Vikings notched quality wins against teams like North Rockland, Hackley, Sleepy Hollow, and Horace Greeley, while losing to very worthy opponents such as Monroe-Woodbury (Section 9 Class AA champ), Albertus Magnus (Section 1 Class A finalist), Pearl River (18-3, top-ranked Class A team), and Tappan Zee (sank 11 3-pointers to beat the Lady Vikings).
Lorraine Moylan, Pearl River (18-3): After leading the Pirates to their first state final four appearance in program history last season, few expected the team to have anything resembling a repeat this year. Despite losing the 2012 NYS Class A player of the year (Christa Scognamiglio), Moylan guided the Pirates to the best record in Rockland County and a No. 1 seed in the Section 1 Class A tournament before losing a thrilling, double-overtime semifinal game to No. 4 Albertus Magnus. Moylan (pictured below with Buckley) announced her resignation in early March after 30 seasons as a head coach. She is Rockland County’s all-time winningest basketball coach (536).