Propelled by a team-high 25 points from all-tourney selection Colleen Walsh, Lakeland earned a third-place finish in the Seventh Annual Carolyn Conroy Memorial Basketball Tournament with a 46-39 victory against visiting Clarkstown North in the consolation game on Dec. 5.
“I think the reason for my success was that I did not want to lose,” Walsh said. “I wanted to turn things around after our loss on Friday and didn’t want to disappoint my team. I had energy and was aggressive on both offense and defense. I had the support of my team who all stepped up and played tough.”
Setting the tone for that toughness was Walsh.
“Colleen is a workhorse,” Lakeland coach Miranda Lustig said. “She has a toughness that you can’t teach kids.”
Team wise, Walsh felt most of Lakeland’s success was predicated by its defense.
“My team and I communicated well on defense,” Walsh said. “We played together and as a team. Everyone contributed in different ways and we worked hard. We never gave up.”
The standout play of Walsh, combined with a great team effort, made the Hornets tough to beat against their Rockland County opponent.
“We were successful because everyone contributed tonight,” Lustig said. “Colleen led the way and other players came off the bench and stepped up when we needed it. Val Potenza and Jess Ascencao gave us extra energy we needed to push forward when we were in a lull.”
Kelsey Walsh also contributed to the Hornets’ first win of the season by scoring eight points.
Lakeland was game in its season opener against Horace Greeley in the first round of the tourney on Dec. 4 but lost 47-42.
“It was a close game all the way through,” Lustig said, “but we went 10 for 24 from the foul line which killed us and our inexperienced youth showed during the final two minutes of the game.”
The Hornets (1-1) were led by Alexa Cole and Colleen Walsh who both registered 13 points apiece. Rieley Walsh added eight points.
Yorktown (0-1) lost to visiting Walter Panas 52-51 on Dec. 3 in its opener. The Huskers were led by Alyssa Francese, who netted 24 points.
“I was able get 24 points by getting ahead on the fast break and by attacking the basket any chance I got,” Francese said. “My teammates gave me opportunities to give me any chance to score.”
Emily Nigro stood out for Yorktown, playing a sound all-around game according to Francese.
“She played great defense,” Francese said, “and created great offensive opportunities for everyone on the court.”
Francese felt the Huskers played well as a team.
“We had trouble at the foul line and that impacted the outcome of the game,” Francese said. “We played hard until the end though and never gave up. We were able to score a lot of points off our fast break and pushing the ball using our speed and that worked out well for us.”