Scholars season ends, but optimism grows
ALBANY – Jessica Glaz looked like she was just in a 12-round fight. The sophomore guard had a bag of ice on her broken knuckle and her hip was bruised from falling on the ball while getting fouled in the fourth quarter.
There was also a wide smile on her face.
“We don’t have a lot of experience, we’re a three-year varsity team but this is the second year in a row we’re going to States, which is crazy big,” Glaz said. “We’re having so much fun doing it.”
Moments earlier, Scholars Academy’s season came to a close after a 72-44 loss to Long Island Lutheran in the New York State Federation Class B semifinals at the Times Union Center Friday morning.
It was a similar result to last year when Scholars fell to Irvington in the same round. This time, though, Glaz and her teammates weren’t crying on the bench when it was over.
That’s because this time, with only one returning starter, the Seawolves weren’t supposed to be back here.
“The last thing I said at the end of last season was we have to repeat next year,” Scholars Academy coach Janet Kleiner said. “That was a bold statement from me, I’m not usually that optimistic. The championship was a different feel for me this year because it was unexpected.”
Scholars (25-4) was overmatched from the beginning, falling behind 28-8 after one quarter and 45-16 at the half. But the Seawolves refused to fold in the second half and Kleiner considers the final margin of defeat – 28 points – a moral victory, especially against the defending State Federation Class B champions.
“To finish with 44 is more than respectable,” Kleiner said. “The best is yet to come with this group of kids. No one leaves this year. It’s about getting strong, getting in shape, going to camp together, playing for the right AAU programs.”
Glaz led the way for Scholars with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
“That’s a typical Jessie game,” Kleiner said. “She will always be able to find a way.”
Taylor Gallagher, the lone returning starter from last year’s squad, added seven points for the Seawolves, while Staci Barrett had 16 points and eight boards, Christina Raiti had 15 points and Boogie Brozoski had nine points for LuHi (18-5), which faces Irvington in the Class B final Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
With all five starters back, Scholars is hoping to take a step up in competition next year and move into the PSAL Class A.
“We played a good non-league schedule against ‘A’ division teams, maybe not the top ‘A’ division teams, but your goal is to move up and advance the program,” Kleiner said. “We’re hoping the PSAL moves us up next year. We’ll take our losses, but it will make us better.”
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