Lakeland Beats Huskers on Senior Night

Lakeland’s Jessica Ascencao takes a runner in the paint while Yorktown’s Emily Nigro defends. Credits: Rick Kuperberg

SHRUB OAK, N.Y.— It was a big senior night for Lakeland senior girls basketball captain Colleen Walsh as she registered a game-high 21 points, to go along with 13 rebounds and six assists, in the Hornets’ 63-55 senior-night victory against visiting Yorktown on Feb. 6.

“Senior night is definitely a big deal, not only for the seniors but underclassmen — it’s like we really come together,” Walsh said. “Yorktown is our crosstown rival. It’s a friendly rivalry but you always want to come out with that win.”

Val Potenza, Krista Verrino and Rieley Walsh were the Hornets’ other seniors who were honored before the game.

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Yorktown senior Alyssa Francese had a big game as well, scoring a team-high 19 points.

“I thought we played well but we could’ve always played better,” Francese said. “It’s always a good rivalry game playing them.”

Lakeland earned the bragging rights in this rivalry contest due to a great team effort. Potenza (10 points), Jess Ascencao (9 points), Kelsey Walsh (7 points), Verrino (6 points), Alexa Cole (5 points) and Rieley Walsh (5 points) all joined Colleen Walsh in the scorebook.

“We all played well,” Colleen Walsh said. “Our confidence level definitely boosted towards the second half. In the beginning we were all a little nervous but our confidence grew and our defense was successful.”

Lakeland was successful in jumping out to a 30-21 halftime lead but Yorktown tied the game by starting the second half on a 9-0 run, finished by a layup and two foul shots from Francese.

“We locked them down on defense; we didn’t foul,” Francese said. “On offense, we got rebounds and we got looks at the basket.”

Colleen Walsh answered with her passing skills. Standing at the top of the key, she found Cole in the corner for a clutch trey that put Lakeland up 57-51 late in the fourth quarter.

“We were just passing, looking for the open shot,” Colleen Walsh said. “If I have the open shot I’m going to take it but if someone has a better shot than I did obviously they get it.”

Francese did her best to keep Yorktown in the game, scoring eight of the team’s 13 points in the final quarter.

“I wanted to come out and try to just get our team going,” Francese said. “We knew we had to come back, so I thought working my hardest would try to get the rest of my team to do the same.”

Kat Severino (12 points), Emily Nigro (11 points), Mackenzie Merson (6 points), Emily Metz (5 points) and Anna Nuccio (2 points) also earned their way into the Husker box score.

Lakeland (13-7) finished its regular season with a 53-50 loss at Roy C. Ketcham on Feb. 8, led by Colleen Walsh (21 points) and Kelsey Walsh (13 points).

Yorktown (11-8) won its senior-night contest by defeating visiting Edgemont 66-40 on Feb. 10, led by Severino (17 points), Francese (16 points) and Nigro (11 points).

Francese, Nigro, Nuccio, Carli Mager and Miranda Walsh were the seniors honored before the game.

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