Girls Basketball Team Soars High to a Win

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The Townsend Harris girls varsity basketball team competed against William C. Bryant, a rival who had previously defeated them last December, and was currently tied for 1st place with John Bowne. Though there were stressful, shocking, hair-yanking moments that passed the winning stick back and forth multiple times between the two teams, THHS won against Bryant with a score of 40-32.

The win was ever so much sweeter with the crowd of spectators warming the benches— parents eager to watch their children play; Ms. Oberlander and Mr. Hanson; and students milling into the crowd to cheer for THHS.

In order to encourage interest within the student body, the girls created a Twitter account called “TownsendHoops.” As explained by sophomore Marina Aweeda, this account would “spread the word about our team and our progress and encourage more people to come and cheer us on.”

The first quarter ended with a score of 4-5 in favor of Bryant. It was a slow start for both teams. Bryant managed to obtain a small lead by mainly free throws, while THHS gained one point from a free throw. However, at the end of the first quarter, senior Debra Chan was able to accrue three points for the Hawks.

The second quarter began with Bryant getting an early lead by shooting two points. As a result, THHS stepped up their game. Debra gained another three points, while seniors Meraldina Ziljkic and Kasey Wagner went in for two points each, allowing THHS to close the first half in an evenly matched 17-17.

With the second half of the game unraveling, THHS gained a slight lead of five points, bringing the score to 26-21. Debra performed several layups to help the team score four more points, and Kasey was able to shoot in the basket for two points with three seconds left on the shot clock.

The fourth quarter ended well for THHS, but not without tough circumstances. The two teams alternated the lead. At one point, Bryant was winning by one point; then THHS was ahead with one point.

Senior Nicole Gleizer said that the biggest challenge facing the girls was their defense. She explained, “They were getting 2nd attempts on their missed rebounds, and getting the opportunity to put them back up because they had inside position on us, and because of our lack of inside position, we tried to compensate for it by kind of going at them and that was a foul.”

Debra expressed the same sentiment, believing rebounding to be their major weakness. “We can improve on grabbing defensive rebounds to prevent second and third shots,” she says.

On the other hand, Marina thought that the defense performed well. She responded, “We played great defense, especially by shutting down their two main scorers.”

Natalie agreed. “We came together as a team really well defensively, and we knocked down the shots when we had to. The 4th quarter was pretty big for us,” she said.

Nicole also acknowledged that the opposing team had some weaknesses that THHS took advantage of towards the end. She believed that Bryant, using the same tactics throughout the game, allowed THHS to bring them their downfall.