Women’s basketball honors seniors, finishes regular season
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Despite a 79-53 game loss to Emmanuel College on Saturday afternoon, the women’s basketball team was able to lift the spirits of a loss by honoring the careers of their four seniors.
Ridgeway was decorated in blue and gold for seniors Georgia Bourikas, Caitlyn Caramello, Alex Clarke and Kelsey Schiebel. Over the years, the four seniors have recorded 63 wins for the Lady Rams. They also had combined for 2,384 points. The four were recognized for their leadership and commitment to the team in an opening ceremony led by junior Alexandra Nagri, sophomores Shannon Smith and Marissa Gudauskas and freshman Laina Dowd.
Nagri spoke about how captain Schiebel was a great teammate, but also how the two developed a strong friendship on and off the court over the years.
“She is constantly encouraging everyone and always attempting to bring more and more competition every day,” said Nagri during the opening ceremony to recognize guard Schiebel. “She instantly became a best friend as soon as I came to Suffolk three years ago, and I think I speak for the whole team when I say that even though we will have a cleaner locker room and eat a lot less pizza, [Schiebel] will definitely be missed.”
Smith delivered a speech about forward captain Clarke and how she was a best friend and played the “motherly role” on the team. Smith also mentioned how Clarke is the best defensive post on the team and will be missed.
“Clarke always sees the positive in the outcome of any practice or game,” said Smith in her opening ceremony speech. “We will all miss the way she can get all of us to crack a smile with her contagious laugh or sarcastic joke.”
Gudauskas honored forward Caramello for her intensity and love for the game. She said the team will miss Caramello’s rebounding during games, upbeat energy and the enjoyment she brought to the team.
“I can easily say any team would love to have a player like [Caramello] on their team, and I am so lucky I have been able to play with her and get to know her these past two years,” said Gudauskas in her opening ceremony speech about Caramello. “There’s no doubt that she has made me a better basketball player and teammate.”
Dowd talked about the leadership captain guard Bourikas held on the team. She also said the freshman-senior relationship is one that she relies heavily on.
“[Bourikas] has been instrumental in my development as a college student, helping me to navigate all the ins and outs of my freshman year,” said Dowd in her opening ceremony speech about Bourikas.
After honoring the seniors, the two teams took center court and were ready to play in their final conference game of the season.
The team fell short to Emmanuel, but the start of the game was a back and forth battle. With 3:17 left in the first quarter, the Lady Rams had a 9-8 lead over the Saints. The first ended with the Saints up 18-13.
The second quarter was not a strong one for Suffolk. By the end of the second, Emmanuel had a 21 point lead and outscored the Lady Rams 22-6, which closed out the second with a score of 40-19.
Although Suffolk outplayed and outscored Emmanuel during the third, 19-17, the Lady Rams could not score enough to make a 21 point comeback. By the end of the third, Suffolk still fell 57-38.
In the seniors last conference game, the team was not able to capture the win. The scoreboard read 79-53 at the end of the game.
“It was an easy game to get excited for and playing Emmanuel was icing on the cake,” said Schiebel in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “I tried to treat it like any other game so I didn’t let me emotions get the best of me. I wish the outcome had been different, but we will see them in playoffs.”
Although the game ended in a loss for the Lady Rams, Suffolk outrebounded the Saints 41-34, nine of the Lady Rams rebounds coming from Clarke, while Schiebel and freshman forward Katelyn Rourke led the team in scoring, both added 11 points to the final score.
“It was kind of surreal that it was my last home game. I still don’t think it has fully sunk in yet,” said Clarke in an interview with The Journal after the game. “Obviously it would have been awesome ending the regular season with a win, but going into the tournament ranked third is still a great spot to be in.”
Suffolk will make their 22nd appearance in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament. The Lady Rams are currently third in the GNAC South Division standings and look to begin their playoff run in the quarterfinals at Norwich University Northfield, Vermont on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.