Lady Chiefs Eliminated As Leading Scorer Is Sidelined
By Eric Goodman
Canarsie High School varsity girls sophomore center Wykeemi Gray was usually the aggressor during the regular season, mainly due to her height — 5’11’’ — and a fairly wide frame. But on Sunday, at Hostos Community College in The Bronx, Gray and her seventh-ranked Lady Chiefs’ teammates were eliminated from the PSAL girls basketball playoffs by the taller, quicker second-ranked Francis Lewis High School squad, 57-33, in a quarterfinals match.
Gray, who typically dominated her opponents, scored a season-low eight points and was forced to leave the game at the beginning of the third quarter after suffering what was believed to be a mild concussion. Francis Lewis center Jessica Fuller, three inches taller than Gray, was too much for the under-matched Lady Chiefs, especially when their star missed most of the second half.
“Francis Lewis has got to be the best team in the city,” said Canarsie assistant coach Marc Goodman. “Al-though Murray Bergtraum is ranked first, I believe that Lewis is definitely the team to beat this year.”
Lady Chiefs’ head coach Robert Greenblatt knew his team had its work cut out against the quicker, more experienced Francis Lewis squad, but be-lieves his team would have fared better if Gray had stayed healthy. Greenblatt said that he never expected his team to defeat last year’s PSAL finals runners-up but hopes that they can make a better showing in next year’s playoffs.
“This team definitely has the potential to win it all this year,” said Green-blatt of the Francis Lewis team. “There was no doubt that they would defeat us easily this afternoon, but you still have to show up and put your best effort across.”
Canarsie quickly fell behind and trailed 14-4 at the end of the first quarter. By the time the first half ended, Lady Chiefs were behind, 29-14. Francis Lewis took advantage of Gray’s absence, and went ahead 43-22 at the end of the third quarter. By game’s end Canarsie had a 24-point deficit.
Lauren Hazel led Canarsie with nine points.
A few days earlier, Canarsie fared better in a second round playoff match on March 2 at Lehman College as the Lady Chiefs defeated 10th-ranked Cardozo High School, 51-42. Gray dominated the low post and led all players with 27 points and 17 re-bounds.