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<<Back to Issue December Volume # 78
Read the Article

Prep Basketball on the Rise

By Neil A. Carousso 13

The Brooklyn/Queens basketball season is wrapping-up with city and state playoffs in sight. The Terriers and Lady Terriers are young this season with only two active seniors.

It is rare for a freshman or sophomore student-athlete to make the varsity team, but this season, men’s head coach Tim Leary started two sophomores on varsity – Connor Bacci ’15 and Shane Herrity ’15. JoAnn Wagner, head coach of the Lady Terriers, took on two freshmen – Sofia Recupero ’16 and Monica Zhivanaj ’16. All four of these players are pivotal to the teams’ immediate and future success.

"As a sophomore it is great to be on varsity and gain experience," Shane Herrity said. Herrity and Bacci are glad that they were able to make an impact in their first season with varsity however, they also want to improve in league competition next year.

"The future for [us] is bright," Connor Bacci said. "We have a lot of kids coming back next year and we’ll be better players, more mature and more experienced."

Although the Terriers had difficulty competing with league opponents this season, they are close to being a powerful force in Brooklyn/Queens basketball. "My goal next year is to get more wins and be more competitive so by [my] senior year we can get a city championship," Herrity remarked. While the young players on varsity, including Bacci and Herrity, have great potential, the junior varsity team is finishing strong with thrilling victories over rivals Holy Cross and Archbishop Molloy. Saint Francis Prep basketball is surely on the rise.

The Lady Terriers made a vast improvement from last season. While young and inexperienced, they have victories that show their bright future as they compete at a high level. "As co-captain, I have never been more proud of a group of girls. Last season we were 2-28. To see us winning and having fun is such a big difference [from last season]. It has benefited us on and off the court," said star 3-year varsity player Veronica Ganzi ’13.

Recupero and Zhivanaj are two players that are already making an impact on the varsity level. Recupero starts at 6 foot 1 inch; she has a smooth shot and she is key to their offense in the front court. She also plays stellar defense, towering over her opponents. Zhivanaj has a comparable shot and lock-down defense with a positive outlook on the game. The Lady Terriers will grow to be a force in their defense in a couple of years.

Co-captain Angelica Kosinski ’13 battled back this season after ACL knee reconstruction surgery on both of her knees. She is an inspiration to her teammates and is integral on the court. "Moving forward Lady Terriers basketball will continue to improve until we are known again for being one of the strongest teams in the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA)," said Kosinski who will attend college for nursing.

Certainly, Prep basketball is improving with young players developing on the junior varsity and varsity levels. In a few years Saint Francis Prep may work up to the top section of the standings.