PSAL AA Girls’ Hoops Semifinal Preview: Wagner Vs. Francis Lewis

This Sunday, second-seeded Susan Wagner will take on No. 3 Francis Lewis in the PSAL Class “AA” Girls’ Semifinal at The City College Of New York.

The 22-3 Falcons defeated host Patriots, 74-66, back in late January, with junior guard Nicole Melious draining 42 points. So, it will be a battle to see if Wagner can do it again, or if Francis Lewis can exact a measure of revenge.

The Falcons reached the semis by beating No. 7 Bergtraum, 77-69, in the quarterfinals last week at Achievement First Brooklyn.

People who follow the New York State high school girls’ basketball scene closely, know how dominate Wagner’s Melious has been this season: 40.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game in 25 contests so far this season.

Plus, the 5-foot-9 dynamo has set a new New York State single-season record of 1000 points and needs 43 points to reach 2000 for her high school hoops career.

Francis Lewis will be hard-pressed to stop the Staten Island scoring machine, you can bet on that one.

As impressive as Melious has been, she has not done it alone. Senior Shanelle Smith had averaged 12.6 points, 5.3 boards, and 3.15 helpers per tilt in seven regular season contests while sophomore Samantha Harrell has averaged 10 points, 4.85 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game in 14 regular season affairs. Additionally, senior Audrey Bonoan has contributed an average of 8.4 points and 7.6 helpers per tilt in 14 regular season games.

Junior Cynthia Hernandez leads the Patriots with 15.3 ppg and 10.93 apg in 14 regular season affairs, so she will be key in propelling the Patriots’ offensive. Plus, juniors Sheila Da Silva (15 games) and Wanhua Peng (17 games) have average 11.55 ppg and 11.2 ppg, respectively, making them good scoring options.

Junior Ariana Williams dropped in an average of 9.1 ppg and 5.3 apg in 13 regular season contests.

— Jerry Del Priore

Photo: Courtesy of Dan Melious

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