2007-02-23 / Sports

Lady Seahorses Nip Wagner Jr.In Playoffs

By Elio Velez

Far Rockaway's Quenise Holland. Photo By Peter Borriello Far Rockaway's Quenise Holland. Photo By Peter Borriello There are moments that Quenise Holland can be introspective about her freshmen year on the Far Rockaway basketball team.

She has realized that there have been many tense moments in her freshman year. Probably much more than she expected to ever happen

With her Lady Seahorses needing buckets in the most important of times, Holland has had to grow up and deliver. Her latest endeavor included 39 points last Friday afternoon as Far Rockaway held on to a 58-53 win over Robert F. Wagner Jr in an outbracket PSAL 'B' playoff game. Sandy Jean Francois added 23 rebounds and nine points for Far Rockaway.

"It was Queenie time," Lady Seahorses coach Les Sabbah describes of Holland's performance. "She stepped up today for us."

So there Holland was at the free throw line with under a minute to go in the fourth quarter. The Far Rockaway home crowd was feeling the jitters. Robert F. Wagner Jr. had cut a 47- 34 lead with 6 minutes left to 53-52 deficit with 50 seconds left.

Holland stepped to the line and hit one of two free throws to give the Seahorses a 54-52 lead. Far Rockaway regained their composure as Shawndi Pannell' reboundrf Radasha Moore Moore miss. Panell's subsequent two free throws gave the Seahorses a bit of room to breathe at the end.

"I was nervous. All the voices were all around me and in my ears. I just tried to block it out," Holland recalls the tense final minutes of the contest.

Holland realized that she wasn't playing well near the end of the regular season as her team lost consecutive regular season games.

She carried her slump to practice where she admits that the work ethic wasn't present. The playoff atmosphere woke up Holland and she says the rest of her teammates.

"I didn't have my 'A' game on. I was fooling around and I learned my lesson. I sat on the bench for one of the games," Holland said.

Far Rockaway, a #36 seed, will travel on Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the first round of the 'B' playoffs against the #4 seed Secondary School for Law, Journalism and Research.Undefeated at 14-0, the Park Slope based school was crowned the Brooklyn 'B1' Division champions.

Robert F. Wagner Jr. had used their experience of four seniors in the lineup to enact a calm and cool comeback. Dejane Mitchell (20 points) and Jalissa Hernandez (11 points) helped key a late charge. The young Seahorses, starting three freshman, one sophomore and the senior Francois was buckling under the pressure.

Holland had even forgotten her road uniform before the game which she says was one more example of being nervous. The game was technically a home game for the higher seeded Robert F. Wagner Jr. who does not have a home court.

Holland admits it hasn't been a smooth ride at times as her team matures on and off the court. But with the low seed they received, Holland doesn't look at it negatively.

She believes her team can not only compete but play a major spoiler role in the playoffs. Adopting an underdog role may be an old cliché in sports but Holland says the Seahorses are relishing the chance to make an upset.

"We're thinking that we're not going to lose. We're going to surprise some people."

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