Photos by Correen Demers
By Ashley Richardson
PHA LADY WIZARDS UNDEFEATED AND TOURNAMENT BOUND
The final horn has just sounded to conclude 2016-2017 regular season play for girls’ basketball in the Massachusetts Charter School Athletic Organization (MCSAO). The Lady Wizards of Prospect Hill Academy with a divisional record of 12-0 (14-0 overall) will be the #1 seed from Division I and pitted against the winner of Division II’s #4 v #5 play-in game to be scheduled for early next week. PHA is the MCSAO defending champion finishing the 2015-2016 campaign undefeated with an overall record of 19-0. This year’s championship tournament quarter-finals and semi-finals are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4, at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Harbor Point in Boston. If the Lady Wizards survive the two opening rounds, then they will secure a spot in the league’s championship game for the fourth consecutive year. This year’s title tilt is currently set for Saturday, March 10, at the Clark Athletic Center.
This February school vacation this week, the Lady Wizards will have time to rest and relax and to think about their successes to date. Next week, Coach Brian Harris and his assistants will have four days of intense practice to bring the team back down to earth, to get every player mentally and physically back on the same page and to get everyone—players, managers and coaches—tournament ready and hungry for more.
Last year’s trio of all-stars— Sophomore power forward Kaleesha Joseph, Sophomore guard Ashley Cadet and Senior guard Agar Felix—have finished again as the team’s leading scorers averaging 13.6, 11.5 and 10.2 points per game respectively. Overall, the team averaged 59 points per game. This required the leading scorers to remain steady game in and game out. Furthermore, other team members when called upon needed to step up offensively. No one else on the team averaged in double figures at the end of the regular season. However, many players did score 10 or more points during individual or multiple contests of the 14-game schedule. These players were Senior Tracy Beauvois, Juniors Fabiana Paul, Sarah Merina, Fatima Benmimoun and Carla Minouche and Sophomore Samaya Belizaire-Arrendel.
Defensively, PHA held regular season opponents to 22 points per game. Coach Harris acknowledged that there are defensive stars on the team, but emphasized that all 15 squad-members sturdily contributed to this year’s accomplishments on the defensive side of the ball.
Additionally, Harris strongly believes that the key to a successful post-season tournament run by the Lady Wizards will be based upon aggressive non-stop team defense in all games played, each player’s sustained commitment to working hard in every upcoming practice and game and overall continued unselfishness of play by all.