2011-01-21 / Sports

Streaking Seawolves Continue to Ace On Court Exams

By Elio Velez

In only their second year as a varsity program, the Scholars’Academy girls basketball team are experiencing one of the best campaigns in the PSAL B Division.

Scholars’ Academy is off to fantastic start of the season. After losing their first game of the season in a non-league matchup against Forest Hills, the Seawolves (16-1) have won 16 straight games and currently lead the Queens B East Division with an 11-0 record after an 88-13 win over Far Rockaway on Wednesday.

The genesis of Scholars’ rise as one of the top programs in the borough started when coach Janet Kleiner led the Seawolves last season to a 10-8 record and a loss in the second round of the playoffs.

Last year’s success continued this season with a mix of experienced players and a young roster that has jelled quite nicely into an effective unit. Seniors such as top scorer Rebecca Moers, along with point guard Kristin Dchiutis and Fallon Mullen have produced on a nightly basis and have been leaders on the floor.

Their depth, especially from their younger players, has been an added bonus. Sophomore Taylor Gallagher has scored 10 points a game and freshman Jessica Glaz has steadily improved this season to average 12 points and 6 rebounds per game.

“They are so composed out there. They are confident without being arrogant,” Kleiner, who coached at Springfield Gardens for 28 years, said. It’s an unselfish team which is balanced.”

There are also other reasons why Scholars’ have been successful. Their tough non-league schedule has been a plus for the Seawolves. Kleiner believed her team would only get better if they could face stronger opponents in the PSAL A Division.

Scholars have acquitted themselves quite well by going 5-1 against the A teams. The only defeat to Forest Hills occurred when the team was missing Moers (17 ppg), Miranda Harding and Nicole Cunningham due to their playing with the volleyball team that won the PSAL B city title last November.

The team bounced back from that loss to beat Forest Hills twice, John Adams twice and Flushing. They will soon play Townsend Harris and undefeated Bedford Academy in the H.S. of Construction showcase on February 5.

“I think it benefits our kids that we play a tough schedule. It shows the resolve we have when we go against those teams,” Kleiner said.

The added bonus for playing a strong non-league schedule is when the PSAL decided what type of seeding Scholars will get in the playoffs. The PSAL will most likely give the Seawolves a higher seeding due to their division record and their wins against teams in the A division which are heading into the playoffs.

Their success on the court hasn’t affected their drive to keep earning victories. Kleiner has enjoyed her time coaching this team. The Seawolves harmonious play on the court and their ostrong camaraderie are just some of the positives that has made this season a pleasurable experience. “Everything has falling so far into place. They are excited. They are very focused,” Kleiner said. “And we’re just going to take it one game at a time.”

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