Friday, 09 December 2011 00:00
With any first year team, growing pains are to be expected and since most of the players on the St. Aloysius team were playing organized basketball for the first time, expectations for the team were particularly modest. However, after enduring some early season struggles, the St. Aloysius girls are now flying high and in the midst of a winning streak while playing highly competitive basketball in the 5th grade division of the CYO of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
This past weekend saw the team defeat two of Garden City’s finest, St. Joseph’s and St Anne’s, on consecutive days. Saturday’s game saw the team race out to an early lead against St. Joseph’s on baskets by Vivian Vlantis, Mia Vlantis and Emma Forstner. Even though St. Joseph’s trailed by seven points after a Joanna Vissichelli free throw, they would soon mount a comeback that would turn the game into a hotly contested affair. With clutch baskets by Lauren Parrott and Lauren Wong and stellar defense from Theresa Patrey and Alexa Lanzilotta, St. Aloysius was able to maintain an advantage until the final two minutes. The final two minutes were filled with tension as St. Joseph’s briefly took the lead only to have St. Aloysius answer back with a basket of its own with just over a minute to go. Shortly thereafter, the home crowd erupted into cheers as St. Joseph’s took the lead with less than a minute to play. However, the team returned to the floor after a time out and perfectly executed a play that enabled Vivian Vlantis to dart through the defense and silence the crowd as she banked home a lay up with only thirty-five seconds to play. The victory was then secured with some solid team defense that prevented St. Joseph’s from getting off a shot.
With the team riding a wave of momentum from their last minute victory, the team welcomed the opportunity to play the very next day. Behind a balanced scoring attack paced by Vivian Vlantis, Mia Vlantis, Emma Forstner and Lauren Wong, the team once again established an early lead. This time, however, there would be no comeback as St. Anne’s was no match for the defensive pressure that was being applied by Julia Duval, Alessandra Saponara, Theresa Patrey, and Joanna Vissichelli and could not muster enough opportunities with Lauren Parrott and Alexa Lanzilotta pouncing on loose balls.
The team hopes that it can build on its winning ways as it enters the second half of its schedule as Mia Vlantis, Emma Forstner and Lauren Wong have emerged as consistent scoring threats alongside leading scorer Vivian Vlantis. More importantly, the team defense has tightened considerably with Theresa Patrey, Alessandra Saponara and Julia Duval leading the way while Alexa Lanzilotta, Joanna Visschelli and Lauren Parrot are providing consistent contributions on both offense and defense.
The St. Aloysius CYO basketball program currently has multiple teams participating in the 5th through 8th grade divisions of the CYO of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. All children attending Great Neck public schools are eligible to participate.