2012-03-16 / Sports

Scholars’Academy Returns To PSAL Finals

By Elio Velez

Scholars’ Academy saw their 13-point lead in the second half against Gompers last Sunday cut down to only three points in the PSAL Class B semifinals.

With a bunch of new faces, and a few returners from last year’s championship squad, Scholars’ Academy may have felt the pressure earlier in the season.

The way this Seawolves team is playing now is mature and confident enough to face any pressure situation heads on.

Scholars Academy held on to their fourth quarter lead, and sophomore forward Jessica Glaz had a team high 23 points for the No. 2 seed Seawolves, who defeated Gompers 52-44 win at Hunter College.

Taylor Gallagher added 11 points, and Emma Michaels chipped in with eight points for Scholars’ Academy. The win sends the Seawolves into the PSAL championship game, which will be held at 11 a.m. in the Nat Holman Gymnasium at City College. Scholars’ faces No. 1 Bedford Academy in a rematch of last year’s title game.

“I’m having so much fun, we have good team chemistry and we play great with each other,”Glaz said.

The Seawolves got off to an energetic start and had raced out to a 14-2 lead late in the first quarter.

Gompers, the number four seed, sliced that deficit for the next two quarters with the help of a team high 23 points from Aaliyah Mercer.

Scholars were only up 43-40 with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. They looked reenergized after calling a timeout, and increased the lead as Kristin Henschel and Kayla Nolan connected on back-to-back layups. Scholars have grown up quite a lot from the team that began the season with a new starting lineup.

Glaz, Henschel and Gallagher were key reserves last season on a veteran squad. While the current trio has provided the scoring and experience, players such as Nolan and Michaels have made big contribution in a variety of ways throughout the campaign.

The Seawolves edged Jamaica 49- 48 in the second round and won a quarterfinal matchup by defeating Academy of American Studies in overtime.

Seawolves coach Janet Kleiner said this season was special considering how much talent they lost this season. Her current squad has grown leaps and bounds beyond her wildest dreams.

“It’s really unbelievable,” Kleiner said. “Kristin, Kayla Jessie, she played, she was our sixth man last year. They know what’s its like. They want to taste it again.”

Scholars should have another loud contingent of fans rooting them on at City College. The biggest, and probably the loudest supporter will be former Seawolves assistant coach Clare Droesch, who is currently battling stage four breast cancer, provided words of encouragement and instruction from the Hunter College stands.

“It’s amazing,” Glaz said. “What is this the fourth year of the team? In two years and it’s the second consecutive year we get to the finals and with a new group of girls, it’s great.”

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