It was a team effort. The 8th grade girls’ basketball team played their last game together at Wayside and it was their best ever. In an incredibly exciting 41-39 win there were many ups and down. The game began with a ton of excitement as the Wayside crowds showed up in force complete with Fat Head pictures of their favorite players. The team came out on fire and was up 17-4 on the back of a patient press and sharp shooting by Emily Romanacce and strong finishes by Olivia Zielinski. Then Mia Bergstrom and St. Emily's came roaring back. They managed to keep the game within 1 at halftime thanks to a flurry of 3's and post-ups through the lane. In the second half, the team kept up the pressure led by Allie Konopka who never left Mia's side or the court while she played amazing defense. She also made some really important drives to the hoop capped by an amazing and three-point play that helped put the team in control. Lizzy Andriano provided a huge spark with multiple steals and two fast break buckets that brought on "she's a 6th grader!" chants from the crowd. The game got rough but rugged boards by Hannah Herrera and Michaela Jackman helped keep Emily's at bay. Jenna Favia and Jane Dolsen contributed in their minutes and screamed themselves hoarse while cheering on their teammates. In the end, the Wildcats came out on top and the students rushed the floor. Coach Romanacce and Coach Jackman were in tears which was contagious. Like many Wayside coaches they have been with these kids since they were in Kindergarten. Watching them learn and grow for eight years is an emotional roller coaster and what better way to end it than with the best game the girl have ever played! Congratulations players and coaches. Wayside could not be prouder.
Thank you St. Viator and the NWCC volunteers for hosting such a great night and for all the Wayside families and friends who came to support our basketball teams all year.