2011-04-01 / Sports

Successful Campaign Ends For Scholars’

By Elio Velez

In a near empty Times Union Center in Albany last Friday afternoon, it wasn’t hard for anybody present in the stands to see many saddened faces at the Scholars’ Academy bench.

By the end of the fourth quarter, their forlorn expressions were permanent as the PSAL ‘B’ girls city champions were eliminated by Irvington, 63-43, in the semifinals of the State Federation ‘B’ Tournament of Champions.

Rebecca Moers led the team with 17 points despite battling painful shin splits. Taylor Gallagher added 9 points for Scholars’, which finished their remarkable season with a 27- 2 record.

Scholars’ Academy held their own in the first half against the defending State Federation champions and had held a 25-23 advantage.

Irvington adjusted defensively with their size to harass the shooters from Scholars’. The Bulldogs then compiled a stunning 26-0 run which did not end until Moers broke the skid with a three-pointer with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter.

“I never thought we’d come this far. We may be sad now but it’s not even that we’re sad that we lost,” Moers said. “We’re just sad because it’s over.”

Irvington was led by Marley Giddins, who had 20 points, and Alexis Martins added 18 points, along with grabbing 16 rebounds. The Bulldogs, who had come into this year’s tournament as the defending champions, lost the next day in the final to Long Island Lutheran, 59-57.

Scholars’ can still be proud of recording an impressive season despite the loss in Albany. The Seawolves, coached by Janet Kleiner, captured their first PSAL title, and established themselves as a viable contender in the years to come.

The team won the Queens B East Division title with a 15- 0 mark. The Seawolves captured the number one seed entering this year’s PSAL playoffs by defeating higher ‘A’ division opponents such as Forest Hills, Flushing and John Adams.

Moers, who is weighing offers to play at Fordham and Stony Brook, will graduate as the team’s leading scorer. Point guard Kristin Dchiutiis, Fallon Mullen and Christina Rocks are also seniors who were big contributors to the team’s success.

The future, though, is bright for the small Rockaway school. Freshman Jessica Glaz was a solid player off the bench by scoring 12 points and averaging 6 rebounds a game. Taylor Gallagher, a sophomore, scored almost 10 points a contest.

Winning a championship is also a valuable tool to attract middle school students within the building at Scholars’, and throughout the Rockaways, to play with Scholars’ in the years to come.

“We will always be undefeated division champs, undefeated city champs,” Kleiner said. “For the seniors to go from an 11-14 team in our first season to 27-2 overall, no one [else] can ever claim they had that kind of turnaround in just one season in just a second year of existence.” Seawolves Goes To Mayor’s Cup

Rebecca Moers was selected to play in the NYC Mayor’s Cup high school all-star girls basketball game on Sunday at City College at 1 p.m. Scholars’ coach Janet Kleiner and Wings Academy coach Juan Gonzales will lead the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island team against a grouo of players representing Brooklyn-Manhattan.

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