Senior games: an important tradition for girls basketball

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Yefei Yao

Junior Caitlin Kane looks to pass at a home game against the Plainview-JFK Hawks on Jan. 9.

Leah Taylor, Assistant Sports Editor

The winter sports season is quickly coming to a close, which means that for many athletes, their days playing on high school teams are nearing an end.  However, the girls varsity basketball team has been able to continue its season into the postseason. 

The team’s high wins record of 6-6 in one of the county’s top conferences, Conference AA-2, has allowed them to advance to the Nassau County Playoffs thanks to the team’s hard work and dedication.  While the day is yet to be announced, the girls will play in the first round of playoffs during the week of Feb. 12. 

“I’m really excited to see how far we can get in the playoffs. We have peaked as a team recently and have great momentum,” said junior Emma Levin.

While the girls, of course, have been working hard throughout the season to make it to this point, being able to compete in the postseason is especially important for sports that only play during one season, especially for seniors. At the end of the season, teams often have a “senior game,” generally the last game of the regular season.  It is the final regular game for all the seniors, so sports usually have certain traditions or host a special event to honor them and their commitment to the team. 

The girls varsity basketball team had their senior game on Friday, Feb. 9 against Herricks, a team with a conference of 3-9.  Port Washington won the game, not only securing a spot in the Playoffs next week, but also giving seniors a memorable way to end their Schreiber basketball careers.

“The senior game honors our senior team leaders for their contributions to the team,” said junior Sophie Gindi.  “It was a great win that gave the team momentum into the playoffs.”

Port Washington won with a final score of 67-30.  The win paralleled an earlier match against Herricks, in which Port Washington won with a final score of 57-33.  The lead scorer during that game was junior Caitlin Kane, who scored 11 points, including 3 three-pointers.  Senior Tyler Owens also contributed greatly to this earlier win, scoring 10 points.

The top scorer on the team during the senior game was Owens, who scored 20 points, which included 2 three-pointers and 8 free throws.  Juniors Sabine Rosaya and Ava Sann both scored 9 points, each making 1 free throw, too. 

The game was a secure win.  The Vikings made 4 three-point shots in all,  while Herricks only made 2.

Overall, the senior game was a success.  The team also had support from Port Washington fans, as many residents showed up to the game in order to support the team. 

“The senior game was a special night for the entire program,” said Levin.  “Not only were we commemorating the seniors, but we were also supported by our community as a whole. After leading a clinic with younger players in third grade to seventh grade on Wednesday [Feb. 7], it was really great to see them cheering us on!”

The seniors on the team have immensely contributed to the team’s success this year.  Senior Emma Waxman averages 4.4 points.  She has scored 23 field goals, with 3 three-pointers.  In addition, she made 1 free throw. 

Likewise, senior Rebecca Rosen averages 8.7 points.  Over the course of the season, she has led with 24 free throws.  Additionally, she has made 60 field goals and 4 three-pointers. 

Owens has led in three-pointers, making 19 throughout this season.  She made 29 field goals and 24 free throws, as well. 

As the girls continue into playoffs, they will have to overcome obstacles, including more difficult and intense competition.  Another team competing for the Conference AA-2 championship title is Baldwin, who are not only undefeated with a record of 13-0 in the Conference, but also in all of their games, with an overall record of 18-0. 

Earlier in the season, Port Washington played Baldwin, losing twice with final scores of 35-67 and 36-70, on Dec. 19 and Jan. 17, respectively.  In the latter game, sophomore Kate Shanahan led the team, scoring 8 points overall.  In the earlier game, Rosen scored the most points, earning 12 for Port Washington. 

Although the Vikings are up against difficult competition at playoffs, they hope to advance past the first game, taking the recent momentum from their winning streak into the postseason.  The seniors on the team will the opportunity to extend their season past the last scheduled home game, the senior game, in order to compete for a Conference championship.