By Ashley Richardson
The Lady Wizards of Prospect Hill Academy will face-off against the Community Charter School of Cambridge Lady Cougars in the Massachusetts Charter School Athletic Organization’s championship game on Friday, March 10, at 6:30 pm at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Prospect Hill earned a berth in the title affair by overwhelming the Pioneer Charter School of Science Lady Pirates II from Saugus, MA 76-32 in the tournament quarter-finals this past Friday and squeaking by the Edward M. Kennedy Health Career Lady Huskies 47-43 in the semi-finals on Saturday. Pioneer Charter finished the 2016-2017 campaign with an overall record of 12-6 and EMK wrapped up the season 17-3 overall. PHA’s opponent will be the Community Charter School of Cambridge Lady Cougars who steamrolled through Dorchester’s Boston Collegiate Charter 69-20 in its quarter-finals, and followed this up with a 31-22 win over KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate in the semi-finals.
The Lady Wizards appearance in next Friday’s title tilt will be the fourth time in the past four years that PHA has participated in the championship game. On the first two occasions, Prospect Hill walked away with the runner-up trophy. Last season, PHA took home the champion’s hardware. The Lady Wizards will enter Friday’s game with a 16-0 overall record. The Lady Cougars boasts an overall mark of 27-1. Both teams finished in their respective divisions 12-0. The Lady Wizards were the MCSAO Division I undefeated champion and CCSC was the undefeated champion of MCSAO Division II. In early February, PHA gave CCSC its only loss of the season in a non-league affair. CCSC has won 10 straight games since then and is now looking to avenge the loss and give PHA its only blemish on the court in the last two seasons and post-seasons of play.
The Lady Cougars have been averaging 51 points per game on offense while holding opponents to an average of 22 points per game. CCSC is led in scoring by a trio of Juniors—Shaheedah Cesar, Sheba Austin and Dora Duguay—who combine for about 28 points per game. Prospect Hill has averaged 59 points per game and while holding their opposition to 24 points per contest. PHA has relied on balance scoring from Senior guard Agar Felix, Sophomore guard Ashley Cadet and Sophomore forward Kaleesha Joseph who during the season united for just over 35 points per game. In the quarter-final game the three players scored 41 points, and in the semi-finals they combined for 43.
Three months ago, twenty teams kicked off the 2016-2017 Massachusetts Charter School Athletic Organization girls’ basketball season. Eight of these teams qualified for last Friday’s quarter-final round in the MCSAO post-season tournament. After last Saturday’s semi-finals, only two teams remained with a chance to be anointed tournament champion—the Prospect Hill Academy Lady Wizards and the Community Charter School of Cambridge Lady Cougars. Who will be the last team standing?