The fifth-grade girls from St. Hedwig’s won the 2014 CYO A Nassau/Suffolk Diocesan championship. The girls beat Christ the King (CTK) of Commack, with a score of 17-15, on the opponents’ home court. The win marked the third time St. Hedwig’s had beaten CTK this season and improved their three-year CYO record to an unimaginable 39-0. The championship game was a nail-biter right from the opening tap.
CTK led this defensive battle at halftime 9-7 and the second half was predictably close. With 30 seconds to play in the contest and the score knotted at 15, CTK had possession and was closing in for a final shot.
Outstanding team defense by St. Hedwig’s forced the ball out of bounds and CTK now had to inbound the ball from the sideline. A steal by Nicole Paprocky led to a fast break which the athletic Paprocky converted into a layup with 19 seconds to play. St. Hedwig’s took the lead 17-15 and went on to victory. An exciting finish, one Hollywood could not have scripted. Paprocky led the team with 12 points and three steals. MacKenzie McAllister had four points and 10 rebounds; Colleen McCullagh had one point and five rebounds. Caroline Lubicich had three steals; Erin Harkins had three steals.
After the game, fourth-grader McCullagh said, “It was a really cool experience.” The support the girls received from the crowd undoubtedly helped propel them to victory; a variable that cannot be underestimated.
Additionally, Price McAllister, Colleen Tuffy, Emma Lawrence, Kara Farrell, Mia Savignano, and Maggie Long all made significant contributions throughout the season. The St. Hedwig’s team embodies everything that is right with youth athletics; commitment, passion, sportsmanship, and most of all teamwork.
This is the first fifth-grade girls diocesan championship to come to Floral Park in 19 years. OLV last won in 1995.
The St. Hedwig’s girls have won multiple tournaments including: OLV Christmas, St. Francis DeSales, and St. Margaret’s March Madness.