In a historic day for York Prep Girls’ and Boys’ Varsity Basketball, both teams swept the I.S.A.L. playoffs on Thursday, February 16, and advanced to the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Tournament.
In a nail-biter to the very end, the Girls Varsity defeated Birch Wathen Lenox (BWL) 32-27 after trailing at half-time. The Boys’ Varsity overcame Churchill handily in a 47-33 triumph.
Playing against BWL’s pressure defense anchored by their 6’2” center, the Lady Panthers used floor leadership by Captains Marissa Velasquez and Deanna Williams, a tight defense by Sydney Gomez, and fearless driving to the basket by leading scorer Olivia Matticoli to hold off their adversaries. Emelia Watson and Talia Stern were superb in rebounding and boxing out the far taller BWL center, while freshman Phoebe Wade’s speed and agility neutralized her opponents. The turning point was the third quarter, when the Lady Panthers’ tenacious play limited the BWL Lions to only one basket. It took all of these diverse contributions from Coach Christina Schirone’s well-coached team to move on to the State Tournament level.
Shane Richards and Luke Cohen each scored 16 points and Elie Mamiye chipped in 12 to lead the Boys’ victory over Churchill. In beating Churchill, the Boys’ Varsity won the regular season title for the fourth consecutive year and qualified for their third straight State Tournament. “Our chances of going deeper into State are very good this year,” said Coach Doug Hill, who had a great deal of praise for his team.
The first round in the State Tournament begins on Wednesday, February 29.
- The Girls’ Varsity Basketball team will face Poly Prep at Poly Prep – 5:00 p.m.
- The Boys’ Varsity Basketball team will complete against Staten Island Academy at Staten Island Academy – 7:00 p.m.