2005-03-11 / Sports

Locals Help Poly Prep Win H.S. Championship

Kate Wheeler, Samantha Swensen and Candice Clark.Kate Wheeler, Samantha Swensen and Candice Clark. Rockaway’s Candace Clark, Samantha Swensen, and Caitlyn Wheeler all played a large role in helping Poly Prep (Brooklyn) win the Division I New York State Independent High School Championship.

Some of the key wins that brought Poly back to the playoffs again came down the last stretch of the season against St. Francis Prep and previously undefeated Loyola.

Candace Clark, who is only a sophomore, has shown consistent improvement in her play throughout the year. Her efforts have earned Clark more playing time as the year progressed. She came off the bench in the playoffs and provided key minutes for the team in the championship game.

Her performance in the semi-final game was probably her best. She hit three 3-pointers and ended the game as the second leading scorer with 11 points. Candace is an awesome defender with the quickest hands on the team. Her quickness results in several steals every game, and she never allows the other team to get an uncontested shot off from the perimeter.

Samantha Swensen is in her junior year and was the team’s leading scorer in the regular season and in the playoffs. She averaged 23 points per game during the playoffs, and scored the 1000 th point of her career in the championship game against Hackley (Tarrytown).

Poly Prep has won the New York State Independent School championship all three years that Samantha has been part of the team. Samantha not only provides a big part of the offense, but she also plays a critical role on the defensive end. Her defensive hustle resulted in her being the second leading rebounder on the team and second in blocked shots.

Caitlyn Wheeler, who is also only a sophomore, is the kind of player that every coach wants on his team. The things she does on the court don’t always show up in the stats, but they are the things that bring victories.

She provides an intimidating presence on the defensive end of the court. When Wheeler is in the game there is no such thing as an easy lay-up. She not only led the team in blocked shots, but the number of shots she forced her opponents to have to alter in order to get around her defense was countless. Due to Caitlyn, the team never had to worry about getting beat by their opponents on the inside.

Keep an eye on these kids. They should all be going on to very successful careers at the college level.

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