New York High School: Shequana Harris

Murry falls in State Federation AA title game

March, 25, 2012
ALBANY, N.Y. — Tournament MVP Breanna Stewart had 22 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks as Cicero-North Syracuse cruised to a 60-28 victory over Murry Bergtraum in the Class AA final Sunday at the New York State Girls Basketball Federation Tournament of Champions.

Sarah Bowles added 14 points for the Northstars (23-3), who never trailed. Brittany Paul scored 13 points.

Shequanna Harris had 15 points to lead the Lady Blazers (17-8), who shot just 13 percent from the field.

UConn-bound Stewart, who scored 42 points in the semifinal, shattered the tournament record of 52— set in 2004 by Murry Bergtraum's Epiphany Prince and equaled in '06 by Lorin Dixon of Christ the King — with 64 over two games.

After tying the single-game record of 23 rebounds in the semis, Stewart also set a new tourney rebounding mark of 38, besting the 34 boards Shakeya Leary totaled for Murry Bergtraum in 2007.

Twelve-time finalist Murry Bergtraum represented the PSAL out of Manhattan.

Cicero-North Syracuse, from the PHSAA's Section 3, reached the championship with an 80-55 win over Nazareth in Saturday's semifinal round.

Murry Bergtraum wins title for Tayshana

March, 17, 2012
Taylonn Murphy stood off to the side of the Madison Square Garden court, viewing the Murry Bergtraum girls basketball team celebrate a 14th straight title, with watery eyes behind his glasses.

He had just watched as the Lady Blazers ran around MSG with a black frame containing a large photo of his daughter, Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy, who was shot and killed in September. Murphy even received a plaque for the team's win, the one that would've gone to Tayshana. His daughter's life was being celebrated on a grand stage.

It all meant so much to a father who had suffered so much over the past six months.

"This is unimaginable, just unspeakable," Murphy said, struggling to find the right words. "There's so much I can say about these girls. I love them all. I just love these girls."

Murry Bergtraum honored its fallen teammate by winning its 14th straight Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title with a 56-48 win over McKee/SI Tech on Saturday. The Lady Blazers dedicated their season to Tayshana, who was one of the most promising prospects in New York City before she was killed in September outside her home.

"It's very special, just winning this one and doing it for her," said close friend and senior guard Shequana Harris. "I knew she would have been on the floor with me today and we'd be having fun, celebrating this together, and unfortunately she's not here. I know she's looking down and she's proud of us and the team."

Tayshana was primed for a big season for Murry Bergtraum after missing the previous season with a torn ACL. She worked with head coach Ed Grezinsky in the summer, even forgoing AAU so she could take summer school classes. Murphy said his daughter worked hard to be here for this moment, the chance to win a title at MSG.

When tragedy struck in the early hours of Sept. 11, it affected the Lady Blazers. Early on, they lost two games, a rarity for the school. Losing is almost allergic to Murry Bergtraum, but the loss of their teammate weighted on their minds. Doubts started creeping in about how good the Lady Blazers were going to be.

"We had to find our soul and character and I think we dug deep down inside and we believed in her and we knew she would be behind us and that's what she wanted," said Grezinsky, who called this title the best one yet because of the adversity his team faced. "Unfortunately, she can't be here but she's a big part of this. This is what she wanted. Without her, without this factor with her, I don't think we could have done this."

With Tayshana on their minds, and the big black photo frame right next to their bench, second-seeded Bergtraum (18-7) rallied in the fourth quarter and held off fifth-seeded MSIT (25-3) to continue their domination of the league. Harris led the way with 22 points, hitting clutch free throws down the stretch and earning MVP honors. Freshman Ashanae McLaughlin, who had to step into the lineup for Tayshana, had nine points as well as some clutch free throws.

"Shequana played like an All-city player, like an MVP," Grezinsky said.

During the course of the game, as Harris took her free throws, she would look over at the photo of Murphy, of her holding a basketball, and smile. She would say in her head that she was doing it for her friend, who she was meant to share this stage with. Before and after the game, she and her teammates donned shirts celebrating Tayshana's life, with the inscription "we will never forget" above a photo of their late friend.

On a day full of new memories, it's the one of Tayshana that meant the most.

"I know at Bergtraum, she would be playing on the big stage and they did it for her today," Murphy said. "She's in the building here. She's in the building."

Rapid Reaction: Bergtraum 56, MSIT 48

March, 17, 2012
Murry Bergtraum defeated McKee/SI Tech, 56-48, for its 14th straight Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT IT MEANS: After a season that started with back-to-back losses, its first regular season loss going back to 2009, Bergtraum battled all the way back to its 14th consecutive PSAL title. The team mourned the loss of Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy, who was killed in September. By the new year, it began to resemble its old self as Shequana Harris led the team and freshman Ashanae McLaughlin emerged as a scoring threat. This victory represents a emotional victory for the Lady Blazers as it played its season in honor of its fallen star.

EARLY JITTERS FOR MSIT: The Seagulls clearly had jitters early in their first trip to the Garden. They had trouble rebounding in the first quarter and turned the ball often. Shooting only 4-of-10 from the floor in the first quarter, they trailed 9-0 early before they finally got going and finished the quarter down 14-8. Meanwhile, Harris looked like a veteran scoring seven points in the first quarter to set the tone for the Lady Blazers.

ASTEL GETS HOT: While MSIT was struggling to play it's game, senior Kaitlyn Astel was the one who finally got the ball rolling. She scored six in the first quarter and eight in the half. More importantly once she started hitting shots, the Seagulls looked calmer and they started taking better shots and turning the ball over fewer times.

BERGTRAUM LOST ITS LEGS: Harris had 11 points at the half for Bergtraum, but she looked tired in the third quarter and was held scoreless for most of the frame. Meanwhile, MSIT got big contributions from Kelin Walsh and Gabriella Marinaccio as the Seagulls came back to take a 34-32 lead with 4:51 remaining in the third. The two sides went back and forth after that until Bergtraum held a slim 38-37 lead when Harris finally scored, picking up the and-one with just 1:08 left in the third.

FRUSTRATING FOURTH: Both teams struggled to score in the fourth quarter. MSIT didn't have a single field goal all quarter until there was just 1:00 left, getting the rest of its points from the line. Even at the line, it struggled as Astel went just 1-of-5 from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Harris and McLaughlin were the only ones who scored for Bergtraum, picking up a combined eight points before Dionne Coe put it up 48-44 with just 1:06 left.

THE FINAL MINUTE: Trailing 48-44 in the final minute of the game, MSIT tried to get the ball in the hands of its shooters Astel and Marinaccio, but Bergtraum's defense was too tenacious. Instead it spent the final minute fouling Bergtraum's players, but Harris, Dionne Coe, and McLaughlin all hit their free throws as Bergtraum celebrated its 14th consecutive championship.

STATS: Harris led all with 22 points, Coe had 14 and McLaughlin had 11 for Bergtraum. For MSIT, Astel had 13 and Brenna Derosa 12.

UP NEXT: Murry Bergtraum advances to the New York State Federation Tournament.

Girls Class AA preview: Murry vs. MSIT

March, 16, 2012
WHO: No. 2 Murry Bergtraum vs. No. 4 McKee/SI Tech

WHERE: Madison Square Garden

WHEN: Saturday, 10 a.m.

WHY THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT: The Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title will be between the 13-time defending champ Murry Bergtraum and a team looking for its first title in McKee/SI Tech. The teams have not met this year.

Murry Bergtraum perhaps is not as strong as it has been in recent years but still found a way to make the final, playing its best ball at the end of the year. The Lady Blazers will try to win the game to honor their former teammate Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy, who was killed in September.

MSIT is a surprise entrant in the final as it had to upset top-seed South Shore in the semifinals to get to MSG. The Seagulls have yet to lose in New York City this season and can play with any team in New York City. A title would be a huge moment for the school and Staten Island.


Murry Bergtraum senior guard Shequana Harris
Murry Bergtraum freshman guard Ashanae McLaughlin
Murry Bergtraum senior guard Dionne Coe
MSIT senior wing Kaitlyn Astel
MSIT junior guard Kelin Walsh
MSIT junior guard Gabriella Marinaccio


Murry Bergtraum: Ed Grezinsky
MSIT: Peter LaMarca


No. 2 Murry Bergtraum (17-7)

Nov. 21: 51-44 loss vs. Banneker
Nov. 26: 61-49 loss vs. Bishop Loughlin
Nov. 30: 51-48 win vs. Truman
Dec. 2: 85-34 win vs. Boys & Girls
Dec. 9: 48-41 loss at South Shore
Dec. 12: 60-32 win at Grand Street Campus
Dec. 16: 52-48 win vs. Lincoln
Dec. 19: 50-41 loss vs. Mary Louis Academy
Dec. 21: 62-37 win at Manhattan Center
Dec. 29: 56-25 win vs. North Babylon
Jan. 4: 78-35 Win over Baruch
Jan. 6: 81-55 win at Midwood
Jan. 11: 63-42 win at Truman
Jan. 18: 49-36 win vs. JFK
Jan. 27: 71-32 win vs. Medgar Evers
Jan. 29: 53-46 loss vs. H.D. Woodson (D.C.)
Jan. 31: 51-50 win at Francis Lewis
Feb. 2: 59-43 win at Brooklyn Collegiate
Feb. 6: 70-68 win at JFK
Feb. 8: 65-30 win vs. MCSM
Feb. 10: 57-53 loss vs. Francis Lewis
Feb. 12: 53-44 loss vs. Long Island Lutheran
March 3: 60-40 win vs. Lincoln
March 10: 56-45 win vs. Francis Lewis

MSIT (25-2)

Nov. 29: 65-24 win vs. Petrides
Dec. 1: 71-56 win vs. Tottenville
Dec. 5: 60-41 win vs. New Dorp
Dec. 7: 68-29 win at CSIHS/McCown
Dec. 8: 61-40 win vs. St. Joseph Hill
Dec. 13: 81-30 win at Port Richmond
Dec. 15: 44-39 loss vs. Parkland (Penn.)
Dec. 16: 45-42 win vs. Fairfax (Va.)
Dec. 17; 38-33 win vs. Myers (Ontario)
Dec. 21: 47-42 win vs. Curtis
Dec. 22: 59-47 win vs. St. John Vila
Jan. 5: 55-33 win at Wagner
Jan. 9: 65-40 win at Petrides
Jan. 11: 68-40 win at Tottenville
Jan. 17: 57-31 win at New Dorp
Jan. 19: 68-28 win vs. CSIHS/McCown
Jan. 29: 53-25 loss vs. Red Bank Catholic
Feb. 1: 62-30 win vs. Port Richmond
Feb. 2: 65-40 win vs. Staten Island Academy
Feb. 6: 47-42 win at Curtis
Feb. 9: 56-40 win vs. Wagner
Feb. 29: 52-25 win vs. Manhattan Center
March 3: 64-51 win vs. JFK
March 10: 49-42 win vs. South Shore

Chicken's memory fueling Bergtraum

March, 15, 2012
The memory of Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy has been a guiding light for the Murry Bergtraum girls basketball team, one that has carried the team throughout the year.

As the Lady Blazers approach the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA title game on Saturday, the memory of their teammate, who was killed in September, evokes a special meaning.

"She wanted to win this championship and play in Madison Square Garden, she wanted to go get a college scholarship," Murry Bergtraum coach Ed Grezinsky. "Hopefully these girls realize that and she can't be here but they can play for her a little bit."

With that title game just a few days ago, Murry Bergtraum hopes to honor Murphy in that game she had yearned to be a part of. The Lady Blazers will try to win its 14th straight title when it plays McKee/SI Tech at MSG on Saturday at 10 a.m.

"That's my sister. My friend. Just losing her and knowing that she's with us in spirit on the floor, it means a lot to me," senior guard Shequana Harris said. "Playing for her means a lot for me. I want to win this for her. This is where she would want to be today."

Murphy was one of the top prospects in New York City before she was killed outside her home in September. She was destined to be one of the great players in the league, another standout from the Manhattan school.

Her death affected the team early on in its schedule, as the team lost its first two games, a rarity for the PSAL powerhouse. Questions surfaced about whether this team could carry on the legacy of teams past in light of the slow start.

"Knowing that she wasn't there with us physically, it bothered us a lot," Harris said. "We were very emotional at the beginning and just thinking about her. Her father was there. We knew she was there in spirit and when we lost those first couple of games, it was very sad for us. We felt like we let her down."

Harris said Murphy has been on her mind a lot recently and she sometimes loses sleep thinking about it. During games, she'll think about her former teammate, about what Murphy would have done and what Murphy would have expected out of her. She can hear the words her friend would have said in certain moments.

"She just says let's go, go out there and play and do what you got to do, because next year it's going to be me and you," Harris said. "Having those thoughts, that she's not here with me today, it bothers me a lot. Sometimes, I do get emotional. I try not to cry. I try to be the strong one."

Despite facing that adversity, Murry Bergtraum still managed to make the PSAL for its 14th straight time and enters the game as the favorite. The Lady Blazers are younger than they have been in a long time, have faced tragedy, but once again showed why there has been no team more consistent in New York City over the past decade.

In the final, they will face upstart McKee/SI Tech, making its first appearance in the title game. The Seagulls upset the top seed in the semifinals, South Shore, and now will try to pull off an even bigger upset.

"We're ready to go, we're ready to do something special," MSIT coach Peter LaMarca said. "I just believe it. This group of kids, they've come together and believed in each other. Never quit and never give up and they have no fear. You can't measure that."

PSAL semifinals recaps

March, 11, 2012
The championship matchups in the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA tournaments are set as Jefferson will face Boys & Girls on the boys side and Murry Bergtraum will meet McKee/SI Tech on the girls side. While you can read about Boys' win over Lincoln here, here's what happened in the other three games.

No. 2 Murry Bergtraum 56, No. 6 Francis Lewis 48: Murry Bergtraum is headed back to Madison Square Garden and will go for its 14th consecutive PSAL city championship after beating Francis Lewis, 56-48, at St. John’s University in Queens on Saturday.

This is the first time that Bergtraum is even going in as the No. 2 seed since 2003. Its unusual underdog status is something head coach Ed Grezinsky said the team has used for motivation.

“We lost (Tayshana “Chicken” Murphy), we lost our first two games of the season and nobody expected us to win,” Grezinsky said. “Nobody expected us to get to the Garden, nobody even expected us to get to the semifinals.”

Bergtraum dominated for most of the game, building up an 18-point lead by the third quarter. Francis Lewis fought back and brought the game back to within six, but freshman Ashanae McLaughlin made big plays to stop the rally. Saturday’s game wasn’t an easy one for McLaughlin to play in as she lost her uncle, James Smith, last Thursday.

“It’s been hard, McLaughlin said. “I was crying, crying, crying all week. Even this morning I was crying. But I was ready for this game. With everything we’ve been through this year already we’ve learned how to handle the emotional part of the game.”

Shequana Harris had 20 points, five assists, and three steals for Bergtraum while McLaughlin had 15 points, six rebounds, and an assist.

No. 4 MSIT 49, No. 1 South Shore 42: Before the game started, MSIT’s star player Kaitlyn Astel went up to Gabriella Marinaccio and told her that if they won, it would be because of her.

At the time, that made Marinaccio nervous, but she said she wasn’t nervous at all when she drained a pair of three’s that gave MSIT the lead with just 1:06 to play en route to a 49-42 victory.

“Confidence is a word that you don’t normally associate with me,” Marinaccio joked. “But I was feeling so good, I had the crowd behind me, it was like the play was in slow-mo. I just knew it was going it. This is the greatest feeling of my life.”

Marinaccio finished the game with 14 points including four three-point shots. She started her hot shooting with a three in the second quarter that gave MSIT its first lead.

The victory is vindication for MSIT’s head coach Peter LaMarca, who felt snubbed by the PSAL at the start of the season for being left out of the AA division.

No. 1 Jefferson 72, No. 4 Wings 68: In the run to the final, Jefferso head coach Bud Pollard has said that Jaquan Lynch is the team’s MVP and not its star player, Thaddeus Hall, who gets all of the attention.

“When Hall wasn’t here in the beginning of the year, Son Son (Lynch) carried us and then when Thaddeus came back he deferred to him,” Pollard explained. “A lot of kids wouldn’t do that. They won’t go from being Batman to being Robin.”

It was fitting then, in the final seconds of a close game, when Lynch stole the ball instead of driving it to the net himself he instead passed the ball to Hall who slammed it down to put the finishing touch on a 72-68 victory

Wings held a slim 38-34 lead at halftime and had a 68-64 lead with just a minute left. Nazai Stokes hit a three to put Jefferson down just one point before Hall drove the lane and score on a three-point play to take the late lead.

Hall finished the game with 22 points and Lynch had 16 including 12 in the second half. Justin Jenkins finished with 23 for Wings.

PSAL girls quarterfinals recap

March, 3, 2012
The Public Schools Athletic League is down to its final four teams in the girls Class AA tournament after the quarterfinals on Saturday. South Shore, Murry Bergtraum, McKee/SI Tech and Francis Lewis are the last four teams left after winning on Saturday at Hunter College. Here are the highlights from the game.

No. 1 South Shore 46, No. 9 Midwood 30: The top-seeded Lady Vikings received a scare from Midwood but used a 13-0 run in the final minutes to grab the 46-30 win. South Shore led 33-30 with about four minutes left before holding Midwood scoreless the rest of the way.

"We only gave up 30 points and clamped down at the end of the game but I thought we should have been much better on defense," South Shore coach Anwar Gladden said. "We have to get back and be better on the defensive end of the court."

Aaliyah Cooley led South Shore (21-5) with 21 points and had three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and five in the game. Midwood fell to (9-15) in the loss and South Shore will feet fourth-seeded McKee/SI Tech in the semifinals.

"We were having trouble scoring in the halfcourt and (Cooley) knocked down some big shots," Gladden said.

No. 2 Murry Bergtraum 60, No. 7 Lincoln 40: Murry Bergtraum started its quest for a 14th straight PSAL title on a great foot as it handled Lincoln. The Lady Blazers (16-7) were up 19-2 after the first quarter and never looked back against Lincoln (12-10).

"It was good to see them come out like that," head coach Ed Grezinsky said.

Murry Bergtraum received a big game from freshman Ashanae Mclaughlin, who had 16 points, while senior Shequana Harris added 12. Grezinsky said he needs someone to step up each game and today his freshman star was able to do that for him

The Lady Blazers now head to the semifinals where they will face Francis Lewis, a team that beat them last time out. The teams split the season series.

"They're a very good team and they're gelling," Grezinsky said. "They're a tough opponent and they will be a tough game for us."

No. 4 McKee/SI Tech 64, No. 5 JFK 51: McKee/SI Tech used an incredible performance from his backcourt of Kaityln Astel and Kelin Walsh as the two combined for 62 of his team's 64 points in the Seagulls' win. Walsh had 33 points while Astel had 29.

"They were unbelievable together, words can't even describe it," MSIT coach Peter LaMarca said. "Walsh had 15 points in the second quarter which was all of our points."

MSIT (24-2) led JFK (17-11) by about seven to 12 points for most of the game and JFK cut it to three late but MSIT held them off. The Seagulls now will meet top-seeded South Shore in the semifinals. The teams did not play each other this season.

"I've kind of always believed from the beginning we could be a very good team," LaMarca said. "We have strong senior leadership. Astel is a star and Walsh has come back from ACL surgery to be one of the best point guards in the city. I don't think we're sneaking up on people."

No. 6 Francis Lewis 47, No. 3 Truman 34: Francis Lewis averaged two regular season losses to Truman by defeating the Lady Mustangs in the quarterfinals. The game was tied 17-17 at the half and Francis Lewis (14-9) took control in the second half to best Truman (20-7).

"Defensively, we were able to do more of what we wanted to do," coach Stephen Tsai said.

Tsai credited the play of Sherice Gayle, a senior forward/center who only started playing at the end of the year and had a big effect on Saturday's game. Francis Lewis now will meet Murry Bergtraum in the semifinals and the Lady Patriots won the last meeting between the two.

"Our girls had a lot of ups and downs this season," Tsai said. "We lost to Truman twice and I think the girls wanted to prove a point to get (to the semifinals)."

Murry Bergtraum's Harris to Charlotte

October, 12, 2011
During one of the toughest times of Murry Bergtraum senior guard Shequana Harris' life, the Charlotte women's basketball coaching staff came to her side.

As Harris struggled to cope with the loss of her teammate, Tayshana Murphy, who was shot and killed in September, a coaching staff that had just started recruiting her in July flew up to New York City to check in with Murphy.

"They came up for a day to try to take my mind off things and just come and see me and support me," Harris said of Charlotte coach Cara Consuegra and an assistant coach visiting her. "It meant a lot to me. Not many coaches do that for you and I really appreciated that."

It's that extra mile that Charlotte went to try and secure Harris that helped the 49ers land her as she verbally committed to the school Tuesday. She's a three-star recruit according to ESPN HoopGurlz and she chose the 49ers over James Madison and Providence.

While Charlotte had only been recruiting Harris for a few months, Harris noticed right away how much the 49ers wanted to add her to their future roster.

"You would have thought they were there for a while they amount they checked in on me and were calling me," Harris said.

Ultimately, there was a litany of reasons why Harris decided to head down to Charlotte. She felt comfortable with the coaching staff and said it felt like family on her coaching visit. The staff constantly supported her during the summer, she added.

Harris, who can play both guard positions, also said she liked the schools up-tempo style of play, how it offers a sports marketing major that she is going to pursue and she also spoke positively about the city of Charlotte. She took a visit there two weeks ago and raved about it. Harris currently lives in the Bronx.

"I loved it," Harris said. "The city and the area, it's not too overwhelmed, there isn't so much traffic like New York City. There's still a lot to do and it will keep you occupied."

Murry Bergtraum coach Ed Grezinsky said he thinks Harris will do "very good" at Charlotte and said she's a combo player who is athletic, quick, can go to the hoop well and is a good defender. He said that when Harris played well last season the team would win, while the Lady Blazers struggled when Harris had off games. She will be one of the key players who tries to help Murry Bergtraum defend its Public Schools Athletic League Class "AA" title this season.

"She has a lot of upside and a lot of good basketball ahead for her," Grezinsky said.

When it came to making her decision, Harris said she knew that Charlotte had one scholarship left but they were interested in her and another player. She put some more time and thought into what she wanted to do and eventually realized that Charlotte was the school she wanted to attend.

"It's very exciting," Harris said. "It's a lot of pressure off me and it's great to be a part of coach Consuegra's first recruiting class."
NEW YORK --When the Manhattan Center for Science & Math girls basketball team looks back on its loss against Murry Bergtraum Saturday, there are sure to be some shudders when the Lady Rams think of Cori Coleman.

First, Murry Bergtraum’s senior guard nailed a back-breaking 3 to stop a Manhattan Center run and boost the Lady Rams lead to five with three minutes left. Then, she literally stole the game from Manhattan Center with a nifty steal that led to a score on the other end that all but deflated the Rams.

“I wasn’t even going to go for it, I had four fouls,” Coleman said. “I wanted to keep playing defense until the buzzer sounded because I didn’t want to give up any 3’s, any shots like that.”

Coleman’s clutch 3-pointer and key defensive play helped No. 1 Murry Bergtraum fight off upset-minded No. 9 Manhattan Center, 65-52, in the quarterfinals of the Public Schools Athletic League Girls “AA” quarterfinals Saturday at Hunter College in Manhattan. Coleman’s 3 jumpstarted a 18-7 run to end the game.

Murry Bergtraum (20-3) will face No. 4 John F. Kennedy in the semifinals Tuesday.

“They wanted to come out and prove to everyone that they’re still Manhattan Center,” Coleman said. “We had to prove to everyone that we’re still Bergtraum and we’re not going anywhere because everyone in the crowd was here to see us lose.”

HOW THE GAME WAS WON: Bergtraum led the whole game, but could never put away the pesky Lady Rams (11-14). The same script kept playing itself over and over. Manhattan Center would cut the lead to two baskets and Murry would then rebuild its lead to near double digits.

In the fourth quarter, Manhattan finally went on an extended run to slice the lead to 47-45 with 3:29 left. Murry Bergtraum head coach Ed Grezinsky called a timeout to tell his time that it was time to rise to the occasion and show the PSAL what they are made of.

Out of that timeout, Murry hit its next three shots to take a 55-47 lead and had its lead back to double digits shortly after. After hitting 10-of-12 free throws in the final two minutes, the Lady Blazers were onto the semifinals. This was the third time the Lady Blazers bested the Lady Rams this season.

“I think over time every team gets better as well. I think they got a lot better and actually were ready to play us,” Murry Bergtraum leading scorer Shequana Harris said. “They came out ready to play and we matched their intensity and we did our thing and we beat them.”

TURNING POINT: Out of that timeout, Grzinsky specifically called a play to free up Coleman for a shot. Earlier this season, Coleman nailed a big 3-point shot to sent a game against St. Peter’s to overtime, a game Murry Bergtraum would win. She had similar luck Saturday, hitting the shot to boost Murry’s lead to 50-45.

On the other end, she intercepted an errant pass and that steal led to a jumpshot by Ashley Gomez. On Murry’s next possession, Harris hit another huge 3 and suddenly Murry led 55-47 with little time remaining.

“I have to pick up my intensity if I want to see our team win and be successful,” Coleman said. “I know that my teammates look up to me on the court even if I’m having a bad game, they’re still behind me, and they have great intensity. I have to match their intensity.”

STAR OF THE GAME: Harris led all scorers with 25 points. She flashed her great jump shot and nailed a dagger late that helped seal the game. She was also 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the final minutes.

“When I play against Manhattan Center, I’m always coming out hard,” Harris said. “I was in a groove, I felt comfortable and I kept shooting.’

BIGGEST SURPRISE: This game turned out to be the highlight of the quarterfinals. While the No. 1 v No. 9 game wasn’t the one fans circled as the game to pique their interests, two of the other games were blowout and another game was a sloppy effort by both teams. This game had a lively crowd that chanted, got loud and almost gave the Lady Rams a home-court advantage.

QUOTE OF THE GAME: “People out there don’t think we’ll be able to make it back because they actually say we’re the weakest Bergtraum team. That’s what really motivates us more.”--Harris

UP NEXT: Murry Bergtraum faces No. 4 John F. Kennedy in the semifinals. It’s the third time these two teams will meet this season.