By Gary Curreri
Shelly Wik was hoping her Highlands Christian Academy girls’ soccer team would fare better than last year.
The Knights won just four games last year, and two were by forfeit. Highlands Christian Academy opened the year with 10 consecutive victories before it suffered its first loss of the season with a 1-0 setback at the hands of host Calvary Christian Academy on Dec. 17. The team will compete in the District 14-2A tournament this week.
“I was hoping to win a game,” said Wik, who is in her second year at the school. “I was hopeful that we would play well and play as a team and up until the Calvary Christian game, we were doing that.”
The Knights had defeated Calvary Christian, 5-0, earlier in the season; however, they were without the team’s leading scorer, Alley Costello, who was away, and Cameron Petreccia, who injured her ACL and hopes to return in a few weeks.
“We lost the game because we didn’t play as a team,” Wik said. “There were a lot of factors going into it, I think. It was Christmas break and a lot of the girls had finals today and their minds were just on other things.”
Last year’s squad had its share of injuries, the most difficult to overcome was the loss of Cybille Lassegue, who broke her collarbone in the first game of the season and was unable to play. The senior defender/midfielder is back this year.
“The girls were staying very focused on the game and as a team,” Wik said. “I have five seniors this year and four of them – Cybille Lassegue, Joanna Marko, Brett Lawhon and Jackie Justice – want to play soccer in college.”
Wik said the quartet all play for the same Parkland travel soccer team. Wik said she didn’t expect to get off to a great start.
“I knew we were good because we had eight returning players this year and have five seniors and all of them were returning,” Wik said. “I knew we were going to be able to contend because last year we were losing games by a point and we didn’t have as good an offense as we do now.”
The Knights went their eight games of the season without giving up a goal.
Wik said Kayla Wincko has made a successful conversion from playing as a forward last season.
“Over the summer, she got some training from the coaches at Florida Atlantic University,” Wik added. “Kayla saved 14 shots in a game and also saved two penalty kicks this season. Our defense is really good too.”
Tigers win own tourney
Blanche Ely’s girls’ basketball team staged a furious fourth-quarter rally to force overtime before eventually upending Boynton Beach, 67-62, to win the championship of its own Lady Tiger Holiday Classic recently.
Senior guard Talissia Carter notched 11 of her team-high 17 points over the final 12 minutes of play as the Tigers (9-2) outscored Boynton Beach, 23-16, in the fourth quarter.
With 47.9 seconds remaining in overtime, junior guard Cevon Jones’ steal and layup extended Ely’s lead to 63-60, and the Tigers were able to connect on their free throws to close it out.
Jones closed with 12 points and four rebounds, while Ariana Holness also finished with 12 points. Senior center Crystal Allen chipped in 13 rebounds and two blocks. Last year’s squad had its share of injuries, the most difficult to overcome was the loss of Cybille Lassegue, who broke her collarbone in the first game of the season and was unable to play. The senior defender/midfielder is back this year.