Seawolves Win: A Scholars’Academy Student Perspective
“SEA WHAT?” “SEAWOLVES!”
The chant rang through the St. Francis College gym as the final seconds of the Division B Championship Game ticked away. Fans were on their feet as senior Alison McGovern jumped to the basket for a final tip in, pushing the Lady Seawolves’ score to 60 points.
It was destined to happen from the beginning. The roster of the Scholars’ Academy High School girls varsity basketball team had it all: the range, the hustle, the power, and the will. The Seawolves brought it all on Sunday, March 20, defeating Bedford Academy High School, 60-42, to win the Public School Athletic League Girls B Division Championships.
With an early lead at the half, the girls were up by 13 points, eventually outscoring Bedford Academy by 16 points at the end of the third quarter. Touch and go passing continually opened up shots for the girls. Fifteen offensive rebounds led to an abundance of second chance opportunities.
Individual performances contributed to the 18 point lead, but victory was won by true team effort. “I couldn’t be more proud of these girls,” said assistant coach Clare Droesch. “They’re good because of how close they are and how much they trust each other out on the court.”
With a total of 17 points, senior Rebecca Moers could not be denied from behind the line. She knocked down four 3- pointers during the game to increase the Seawolves lead.
Freshmen Jessica Glaz also contributed 17 points. Nearly hitting a double double, (accumulating double digit totals in more than one statistical category) the rookie gave it her all on Sunday. Glaz had 6 assists and 9 rebounds, and was 3 for 4 from the free throw line. During half time, she got an award for highest free throw percentage in the division, adding that to her repertoire of skills.
“It was awesome to win and know that all of our hard work paid off,” said Glaz.
On par with her teammates, sophomore Taylor Gallagher put up 8 points. Gallagher brought hustle to the team and fought for rebounds. She was knocked down one time too many but rose to ovations from the fans.
“The game was so overwhelming. It’s a dream come true to win. The team really wanted it,” said Gallagher.
Senior point guard Kristin D’Chiutiis was another problem for Bedford. D’Chiutiis ran the court and always found the open teammate. With a solid performance, she added 7 points, 4 assists, and 11 rebounds.
More support in the paint came from seniors Christina Rocks and Fallon Mullen, as each girl finished with big boards to keep Bedford at bay. Janet Kleiner, head coach who led the team to the championships in just two seasons, always knew the girls could do it.
“St. Francis was our Madison Square Garden. The girls played great from start to finish. We knew what we were doing, and it was a team effort,” said Kleiner. “There is such talent on this team, and I feel great humility to have shared this experience with the girls.”
On Monday March 21, the team was honored with an assembly in the Scholars’ Academy auditorium. Each girl was presented with a medal, and they held their championship banner up with pride. The seniors promised they would never forget their team and would return to support them as alumni. “We will still be your mommas, and you’ll still be our nugs,” said senior Christina Rocks.
Six years ago, seniors Rebecca Moers, Kristin D’Chiutiis, Christina Rocks, Fallon Mullen and Miranda Harding founded the girls basketball program on the courts outside the school. In a short time, the girls led the team to its first championship. “It’s been an unbelievable journey,” said Athletic Director Joesph Lunati. “The girls went from being a school yard basketball team to a PSAL Championship caliber program. They represent true scholar athletes.“ This close knit team of girls faced many tough opponents throughout the regular and post seasons, finishing undefeated. A bright future lies ahead, with many young stars preparing to continue the girls’ basketball legacy.