Girls varsity basketball gets on a roll

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Photo by Karun Bhardwaj
Photo by Karun Bhardwaj

On December 9, the girls varsity basketball team had their first home game. They faced off against the Long Island City Lady Bulldogs. The Hawks handily beat the Lady Bulldogs 47-24 in a game that they controlled throughout all four quarters.

Junior Meraldina Ziljkic said, “Although Long Island City is not a major rival of us, we do not take any team for granted.”

The starting five for the Hawks were junior pointguard Debra Chan, junior guard Natalie Gomez, senior guard Michelle Gan, senior forward Vasia Makris, and senior forward Sierra Berkel.

The Hawks controlled the game from the moment they won the opening tip. From there, the Hawks absolutely dominated. The girls put up 19 points in the first quarter while playing stellar defense by only allowing four points. The Hawks continued to dominate in each of the next three quarters, scoring seven in the second, thirteen in the third, and eight in the fourth. The Hawks were not outscored in any quarter and played aggressive defense by totalling 19 steals in the 23 point win.

Meraldina reaffirmed, “We try to collectively play tough defense, which helps us force the other team to commit turnovers more often.”

Coach Lauren Caiaccia said that the team has to “stay focused and have objectives when playing weaker opponents.”

The Hawks played a very complete game. They did better than the Bulldogs in every statistical category except for rebounds, which the Bulldogs had 29 of, compared to  the 13  the Hawks had. The Hawks’ 11 assists were nine more than that of the Bulldogs. While the Hawks had four 3-point field goals, the Bulldogs had none. Lastly, the Hawks were five of ten from the free throw line while the Bulldogs were unable to make any of their two free throws.

Sierra led the team in scoring, totaling 13 points on five two-point field goals and three free throws. Vasia and Debra led the Hawks with four assists each. Senior Imani Springer and sophomore Tanja Miketic led the Hawks with four total rebounds each.

Senior Laura Caba said the team needs to improve on “boxing out on the end and getting more rebounds.” She said, “We probably could have won by even more.”

Coach Caiaccia noted, “Everyone got playing time. Through those minutes on the court, everyone got to play and we got to see weaknesses and things we need to improve on.”

Due to the decisive nature of the win, the entire 16 girl roster was able to play.

The Hawks have now won 36 straight regular season games dating to two seasons ago. They have dominated the Lady Bulldogs, winning each of the last seven matchups between the two teams.

Meraldina said, “Our team is definitely setting the bar high as we are trying to continue our two-year undefeated division winning streak.”

The Lady Hawks look to keep the streak alive against their next opponents.

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