Phoenix Win Rematch against Lady Bears
By: Annique Wong and Eric Morgenstern
Stuyvesant’s girls’ basketball team waited in the back room of Seward Park High School’s gym, anticipating a competitive game on Wednesday, January 30. The Phoenix had faced the Seward Park Lady Bears earlier in the season, losing by a slim margin of two points, and looked to avoid making the same mistakes. Ultimately, history did not repeat itself, and the Phoenix won their rematch 54-47.
The first half of the game started off sloppily, as if reminiscent of their first match in November. The Phoenix forced many passes to teammates who were not open and attempted to score while in the paint despite being outnumbered by the Lady Bears’ defenders. As the game progressed, however, it seemed as if this forced playing was a strategy rather than a series of mistakes.
“We knew that if went in for a shot they would try to block and foul us so we did plan on taking shots as much as possible,” senior and co-captain Sarah Duncan said. “Some were semi-sloppy but we were trying to get some free throw shots and maybe foul some girls out.”
By the half, the Phoenix were up 23-14. Despite their lead, coach Michelle Fleming knew that the team needed to make more foul shots, pushing her team to throw free throws during half-time. The second half of the game moved much quicker—both sides fouled less and engaged in more court-based action. Some of this action was instigated by Lady Bears coach Sonia Colon’s entering of Carol and Karen Yu, who scored 14 and 13 points respectively during their last encounter with the Phoenix. “[The Yu sisters] were definitely a threat,” Sobota said. “But we stepped up the defense and we were more careful about our passes and shots.”
Phoenix Set Fire to the School of the Future
By Rayyan Jokhai and Louis Susser
On their quest to close out the regular season on a high note, the Stuyvesant girls’ basketball team comfortably blew out the School of the Future Bulldogs 45-14 on Monday, February 4.
Despite a rough start with sloppy offensive plays, the Phoenix were able to compensate with their relentless defense on the other end of the court. After a first quarter timeout, the Phoenix came back strong and contested all of the opposing team’s shots, allowing zero points during the second and third quarters. By putting up 23 points on offense during the Bulldogs’ offensive drought, the Phoenix led by a margin of 33 points by the end of the first half.
With 56 total rebounds, Stuyvesant’s work on the defensive end led to easy points and multiple stops. The team moved the ball around the court and found open players for easy conversions. In total, the Phoenix had 15 assists, 9 of which came from sophomore and point guard Lauren Sobota.
The Phoenix also had many plays that only took a few passes to get the ball up court and score. In the third quarter, junior Marie Frolich stole the ball from an opposing player and made the long pass down court to junior Yenny Ng, who converted on the open layup. “We pushed the ball up [the] court a lot and [we] were better than the [other] team skill-wise, which we took advantage of,” senior and co-captain Elektra Oates said.
During the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, the School of the Future gained a bit of momentum, scoring for the first time since the first quarter. Fortunately for the Phoenix, though, the lead they had built up was insurmountable for the Bulldogs.
Although the Phoenix won by a convincing margin of points, coach Michele Fleming still felt that they could improve upon certain areas into the future. “Press breakers are key and [we should] minimize the number of turnovers,” Fleming said.
With hopes of being successful in the playoffs, the team will need to improve on these areas, such as slow starts, while continuing to capitalize and make the most of their strengths. “We had a rough start, but by the second half we pulled together as a team and picked it up,” Sobota said.
Phoenix Emerge Victorious in Last Home Meet
By Samantha Lau and Eric Morgenstern
Stuyvesant’s girls’ basketball team hosted the last game of the regular season, beating out the High School of Fashion Industries Falcons 36-17 on Wednesday, February 6. The Phoenix went into the match with high expectations given their December victory over same team by a score of 49-16. “We had played this team before so we knew this wasn’t going to be the toughest competition,” senior and co-captain Elektra Oates said. “We were ready for a win.”
Since this was the last home meet and regular season game, the seniors had the customary privilege of starting things off. However, the Phoenix struggled to get the ball in the basket during the first quarter, closing it out with a score of 6-4.
In the second quarter, the Phoenix tried to penetrate the Falcon’s defense, but did not succeed. Inevitably, they were forced to settle for more difficult outside shots, but to no avail. The second quarter ended no better than the first, with the Phoenix leading by a slim 12-8 margin. After the half, substitutions were made in order to increase Stuyvesant’s chances of winning a significant victory.
The Stuyvesant Phoenix came in strong in the second half as senior and co-captain Zambeta Tsapos led the team with five consecutive points. The energy escalated as the Phoenix built momentum, completed passes, and made numerous layups. Applying a box and one strategy on the Falcons’ best shooter, the Phoenix ended the third quarter with a lead of 28-13.
In the last quarter, coach Michelle Fleming put all the seniors back into the game as a show of respect for their last regular game, closing it out with a satisfying 36-17. “We started off slow and couldn’t really put the ball in the basket [or] make any shots, but we made a comeback in the second half and closed the game,” Tsapos said.
Though their regular season has ended, the Phoenix now look forward to playoffs. “We now have to work on picking up the intensity level of defense and our offenses. However, I’m very proud of my seniors and how well they played,” Fleming said.