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SportzBuzz - January 2023

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St. John’s Mavericks

MIGHTY STICKS It was a dominating season for the SPC Champion St. John’s Mavericks field hockey team. The Mavericks finished the season with an 18-2 record and ranked fifth in the MAX Field Hockey national rankings.

With a thrilling 2-1 victory over The Kinkaid School, the St. John’s Mavericks capped off a sensational season by capturing this year’s SPC field hockey championship. In addition to the SPC title, the Mavericks finished fifth in the nation in the MAX Field Hockey national rankings.

“We had an incredibly skilled and talented group of players,” said Mavericks field hockey coach Rebecca Elliott. “Our team chemistry and positivity both on and off the field was also pretty special.” St. John’s posted a lofty 18-2 record while outscoring opponents by a 134-6 margin. The victory total included an early season win over West Essex, New Jersey, which owned a number five national ranking at the time. The victory took place at the prestigious MAX Field Hockey National High School Invitational.

For the season, the Mavericks held opponents scoreless in 16 of its 20 games. Leading the way defensively was junior goalie Juliana Boon, who was one of four Mavericks named to the NFHCA West All-Region Team along with midfielder Maddie Kim, forward Kristina Johnson, and midfielder Kaitlyn Chang. For her part, Kim will play collegiate field hockey next season for Columbia University, while fellow senior and captain Frances Moriniere will play at Brown University and senior forward Abby Golub will suit up for Kenyon College in Ohio.

“Along with those three seniors, several of our underclassmen will most likely play college field hockey,” said Elliott. “Another player who played great for us all season was senior captain Anna Kate Black. Anna played varsity for three years and was a huge part of our success.”

Episcopal Knights

CHAMPIONSHIP RUN For the second straight season, the Episcopal Knights captured the SPC girls cross-country championship. The Knights won the SPC championship meet by a 43-point margin over second-place St. John’s.

It was a runaway victory for the Episcopal Knights girls cross country team, which captured the SPC championship by a hefty 43-point margin over second-place St. John’s. The victory also marked back-to-back championships for Episcopal in girls cross country. “Our girls definitely exceeded expectations,” said Knights girls cross country coach Julius Michael. “We went into the meet as an underdog to Hockaday, but we ended with all five of our runners finishing in the top twenty.”

The Knights were led by the first-place finish from sophomore Madison Morgan, who won the individual SPC championship in a time of 18:55:40 over the 5K course. The Knights then made it a one-two finish with Morgan’s teammate Lucy Holden taking second place in a time of 19:04:00. In addition to all that, Episcopal’s Georgia “Gigi” Bass finished seventh while teammates Asher Luengas and Shepherd Gregg came in 15th and 17th respectively.

“Our girls overcame big obstacles to win the championship,” added Michael. “The night before the SPC meet Asher was battling a 100-degree fever, but still managed to compete and run hard. We couldn’t have done it without her. Also, before the season even started, we lost one of our top runners (Julia Newman) to a knee injury suffered in the track and field season.”

Abigail Tomaski

SCORING BIG The Memorial Mustangs figure to be lighting up the scoreboard all season with the return of its top four leading scorers from last year’s 27-5 team. Pictured here for the Mustangs is all-district selection Abigail Tomaski.

With the return of six players from the winningest team in school history, it has all the makings of a big season ahead for the Memorial Mustangs girls basketball team. Memorial is coming off a season in which it posted a 27-5 record while advancing to the second round of the playoffs for just the second time since 2005. “We’re bringing back our top four scorers from last year, plus we’ve added two freshmen who also provide a nice scoring punch so offensively we can be pretty dominant,” said Mustangs head coach Jyusef Larry.

The Mustangs offensive firepower includes leading scorer Nicki Polocheck, who averaged 15 points per game while earning all-district honors as just a sophomore last season. Polocheck is also the first Memorial player selected to the all-region team in the 13 years Coach Larry has been with the Mustangs program. In addition, the Mustangs also return district offensive player of the year Riley McCloskey, first team all-district selection Abigail Tomaski as well as second team all-district player Kendall Lyons.

Sophomores Helen Rieke and Emily Clanton round out the six returnees, while freshmen Draden Moss and Ivy Oliver are already making a big impact for the Mustangs. “If we continue to improve and maximize our talents, this team is definitely capable of a making a really nice playoff run,” added Larry.

Editor’s note: Todd Freed is the host and executive producer of H-Town High School Sports, which airs Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on CW39 and Monday-Thursday on AT&T SportsNet SW. To submit high school sports news for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email [email protected].

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