Moers Ends Emotional Day With Victory To Lead Scholars’To PSAL B Championship Game
Scholars’ Academy guard Rebecca Moers had plenty on her mind on Tuesday in the PSAL ‘B’ semifinal against Manhattan Village. The senior guard had found out that her aunt, Rochelle Zweifler, and five other passengers were involved in a serious car accident at 2 p.m. when their SUV was struck by a speeding car on Beach 118 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.
The news pained Moers and her mother, Michelle, who is a sister of Rochelle, but both continued to travel to St. Francis College.
Even with a heavy heart, and suffering painful cramps in both of her legs during the game, Moers gutted her way to score a team high 15 points as No.1 Scholars’ defeated fourth seed Manhattan Village Academy, 48-41, to advance to the PSAL championship on Sunday. Senior point guard Kristin Dchiutiis scored 12 points.
Scholars’ takes on No. 2 Bedford Academy in the finals at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. The game will start at 11 a.m. Bedford defeated No. 5 East Harlem Pride, 44-35 in the other semifinal on Tuesday.
It was quite an emotional day for Moers. She credited her teammates and a pep talk from assistant coach Clare Droesch prior to the game for keeping her calm enough to suit up and play. “I am so touched now,” Moers said. “Even in the car, they were sending me pictures, anything to make me laugh. I got out of the car and my teammates hugged me.”
Zweifler was driving an SUV White Navigator with two of her children, along with an adult woman friend and her two children at around 2 p.m., northbound on Beach 118 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard.
A car was then spotted speeding the wrong way on 118 Street away from the beach block and towards Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The speeding car collided with Zweifler’s car and as it spun around, the SUV was quickly hit by the Q22 bus. Zweifler was transported first to Peninsula Hospital, and then transferred to Long Island Jewish Hospital with a broken nose. One of Zweifler’s children was sent to Schneider’s Hospital with possible internal injuries.
Michelle Moers spoke to her sister minutes after the crash. Rochelle told her sister that things were OK and she was going to the hospital. But while Michelle was driving to the game with Rebecca and five of her teammates, she saw Beach 116 and the boulevard closed off by police.
“I saw 116 closed off and I saw all the ambulances,” Michelle Moers said. “I jumped out and I ran up a block and saw it was my sister’s car, I lost it.”
Michelle Moers didn’t want to give her daughter all of the bad news, but while Rebecca was in the car parked by a sgas station on Beach Channel Drive, she glimpsed the damaged car being taken away by a tow truck.
“I saw the car being towed when I was in the gas station,” Rebecca Moers said. “I looked out the window and I saw the car go by and then I knew they were trying to keep it from me.”
The Seawolves remained resourceful and made enough big plays needed to advance to the school’s first basketball championship final.
Moers had been experiencing a problem with shin splits in her right foot just before the regular season had ended. With 4:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, the shooting guard then suffered painful cramps in both legs and had to sit out for two minutes.
Manhattan Village forward Rochelle Clark had made one out of two free throws to cut the Scholars’ lead to 38- 32. After Scholars’ called a timeout with 2:14 left, and with the shotclock winding down, Moers reentered the game and assisted on Jessica Glaz’ open layup to the basket to increase the lead to 40-32. Moers then iced the game by hitting a basket and knocked down a three-pointer with 54.2 seconds left to increase the lead to 47-34.
“She’s one of the top competitors I’ve ever coached in any sport. A real warrior,” said Scholars’ coach Janet Kleiner. She’s a player I never tell to stop shooting. She always finds a way to make a basket.”
Moers is now focused on bringing a second championship banner to Scholars’. Nicole Cunningham, Miranda Harding and Moers,played on the girls volleyball team that won the PSAL ‘B’ championship last November.
“We’re always looking up at the banner and we’re saying, imagine if the girls can get up there twice in one year in a new school at Scholars’,” Moers said. “It would be awesome.”