Senior basketball players push the Hawks to their first ever semifinal

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In a tightly contested game, the girls’ varsity basketball team triumphed yesterday over sixth-ranked Millennium High School with the final score reading 50-40. Led by seniors Kimberly Lau, Olivia Falba, Weronika Falba, and Rosalydia Caputo, the third-ranked Hawks are making history advancing to the Townsend Harris girls’ basketball team’s first-ever semifinals game.

Yesterday’s quarterfinal matchup came with its ups and downs. Both teams had slow starts as the score almost halfway through the first quarter was a mere 2-0 in favor of Millenium and the nerves remained high on both sides throughout the first two quarters. But despite having a less than stellar shooting performance, our girls went into halftime only down by one with a score of 19-18. The third quarter seemed like it would spell the end for the Hawks as Millenium jumped to an eight-point lead early. However, as the girls’ press defense picked up and came up with a few steals, and as junior Julia Hong hit a flurry of shots and layups, the Hawks were back into the game. Senior Rosalydia also hit multiple mid-range jumpers helping to lead the Hawks to a net 21 point turnaround. The Hawks then had to weather a late fourth-quarter run from Millenium as their 11 point lead was cut to 4 with 1:30 left on the clock. After a 30-second timeout, the girls came out trying to run out the clock and they circled the ball around the court until, with just seconds left on the shot clock, Senior Olivia Falba had to launch a three-pointer from four feet behind the line. The ball bounced around on the rim multiple times but ultimately rattled in and punched the Hawks ticket to the semifinals.

Senior Weronika Falba reflected, “The people, the coach, [and] the game have changed my view and life forever. To be part of this historic journey has been exhausting, exhilarating but rewarding. 27 games, 5 months, practice 6 days a week and now we are where we belong.”

The semifinals will be played this coming Sunday, March 10 at 5:00 PM in the York College gymnasium where the girls will face off against last year’s PSAL champions and currently second-ranked James Madison High School.

“These girls are the hardest working players both on and off the court in New York City!” Ms. Caiaccia added. “I am super proud of our team and what we have been able to accomplish this season… Our overall record is 24 wins and 3 losses, that is amazing! We have a tough challenge in front of us for Sunday’s match-up but there isn’t another group of kids I’d rather coach going into this semifinal game!”