Sports

Walsh Duo Leads Lakeland to Sectional Victory

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Jessica Ascencao goes up for a tough shot in traffic. Credits: Rob DiAntonio
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SHRUB OAK, N.Y.— Lakeland’s girls basketball squad got off to a hot start in its Section 1 Class A opening-round contest against No. 13 Nyack, jumping out to a 28-14 lead before holding on for a 44-43 victory on Feb. 18.

“The key to a big lead at halftime was our spark in the beginning of the game,” Lakeland senior captain Colleen Walsh said. “I felt like we were filled with excitement and intensity and it was a good confidence booster.”

The fourth-seeded Hornets were led by Colleen and Kelsey Walsh, who both recorded 11 points.

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“We were very aggressive and we’re always looking to take good shots,” Colleen said. “Offensively, we were successful because we were patient and we looked for layups.”

Colleen was also dominating on the boards with a team-high 13 rebounds.

“I think I had good rebounds because I was aggressive,” said Colleen, who also recorded seven steals. “I always look to follow someone’s shot or my own shot or get the ball back on defense.”

Lakeland (14-7) will next play in the quarterfinals when it hosts No. 5 Eastchester at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23.

“We were lucky. We made some mistakes down the stretch but senior leadership pulled the girls together,” Lakeland coach Miranda Lustig said. “At this point we just have to take nothing for granted. The girls realize that every possession counts and that it’s anyone’s game. I know that they will bring the intensity and passion on Thursday.”

No. 10 Yorktown lost its Section 1 Class AA first round contest to host No. 7 North Rockland 57-46  on Feb. 18.

Husker sophomore Kat Severino scored eight of her team-high 17 points in the second quarter as Yorktown exploded to score 21 points in that stanza, taking a 35-33 lead into the half.

Yorktown’s Emily Nigro added 11 points and Alyssa Francese chipped in 10 points in Rockland County.

Yorktown ended its regular season with a 55-25 romp at Port Chester on Feb. 13.

“We were able to put pressure on Port Chester defensively and were able to get out early for easy baskets off of turnovers,” Severino said.

Severino led the Huskers (12-9) to the win against the Rams with 19 points.

“I was able to finish and got to the free throw line a lot,” Severino said. “My teammates also got me the ball for open looks.”

Francese tallied eight points and Nuccio registered seven points with teammate Jesse Barer putting the clamps on Port Chester defensively.

“I think Jesse Barer stood out defensively. She was able to get a lot of steals and put a lot of pressure on their guards,” Severino said.

Yorktown finished second in league play to four-time defending Class AA state champion Ossining.

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