2005-12-02 / Sports

Lady Seahorses Big Three Needed For Successful Season

By Elio Velez

As a veteran laden team walked off the court following a first round 45-42 playoff defeat last season against Long Island City, head coach Les Sabbah knew change would be coming this basketball season. Key senior contributors Shamar Stewartson, Naiyma Reid and Natasha Sanchez departed following a 13-4 season and were not only the backbone of the team but also scored the majority of the points on offense.

To replace that scoring, Far Rockaway will return three key players who Sabbah says will have to pick up the slack to repeat a winning season. Senior forward Patrice McKenzie, returns to the starting lineup and has shown flashes of brilliance in her time of the varsity but her inconsistency has overshadowed her talent according to Sabbah.

In the first game last Wednesday, a 49-40 Far Rockaway win over Jamaica, McKenzie scored 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds and hopefully could be the start of something good.

“She has terrific talent but for three years, she’s been shy on the court and hasn’t stepped up her game. She has a lot of ability and early in practice, it looks like she’s shown that intensity to play hard,” Sabbah said.

Sophomore Shantee Goggins will have more of a role on offense and averaged a double-double in points and rebounds in most games last year.

The 5 foot 7 player displayed her toughness inside the basket and her numbers of 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead all scorers against Jamaica.

“She’s a tough player, physical works hard. She was a good inside player last year but this year, she’s got an outside shot and could be a complete player.”

Sandy Jean Francois is the tallest member of the squad at 6 foot 1 and will be third returning player that needs to provide rebounding and an inside presence.

Sherna Wedderburn and Shalaya Banks round out the starting five but a young and inexperienced bench could be the downfall if any of the Lady Seahorses’ important players miss any period of time due to injury.

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