It was a big season of girls’ basketball in the Bronx.
Monsignor Scanlan, Harry Truman and Lehman all produced historic seasons.
The Crusaders planned on winning a Class A title when the year began, but did much more when given the opportunity. Scanlan rolled to the program’s first Archdiocesan Class AA crown and reached the CHSAA ‘AA’ final for the first time as well.
Truman, with just seven players on the roster, reached new heights. It was a top four seed in the PSAL playoffs. The Mustangs went to their first semifinal and were minutes away from a trip to Madison Square Garden.
Lehman reached the state Federation tournament, but upsetting previously unbeaten Bayside for the PSAL Class A crown. Cardinal Spellman, Mott Haven and Preston also had strong season.
Here are the players that made it all happen and are considered the best in the Bronx:
Player of the Year
The junior guard took her team and her game to another level. The sharp-shooting Sparks averaged 15 points and 6.5 rebounds, but dominated games in the post season. She tallied 20 points in the Archdiocesan title game and 12 of her 15 in the second half of the CHSAA state semifinals to propel her team to the final..
Coach of the Year
John Burke, Truman
The longtime-coach did a phenomenal job of managing and getting the most out of his small roster, nearly booking a trip to Madison Square Garden. Burke nurtured the growth of sophomore guard Dyona Davis into one of the city’s best players and got Aneisha Lyons and Brianna Alberga to buy into their roles to make it all work.
G Diamond Christian,
It took very little adjusting for the sophomore guard to become a major factor at the varsity level, fuel a surprise season for a young Spellman team. Christian is an explosive scorer and proved she is mature enough to run the Pilots offense. Spellman is in good hands.
G Dyona Davis,
There was no sophomore slump for Davis, only the development into one of the top young guards around. The slick-shooter is tough to stop once she gets rolling, especially from three. She averaged 20.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest.
G Aneisha Lyons,
The senior guard took a step back from scoring to take over as the Mustang’s point guard. Lyons thrived in the role and so did her team under her leadership. She tallied 13.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists a game.
F Nukiya Mayo,
Mayo turned in a fabulous final season at Monsignor Scanlan. She cemented her legacy of sparking the program’s turnaround. The Towson-bound wing averaged 16.2 points and 11 rebounds per game to help lead the Crusaders to a diocesan title.
G Leah Pinili,
The senior guard was the heart and soul of the Spellman team. She helped ease the inclusion of the team’s younger players into this mix and aided the cause with her scoring, smarts and toughness on the court.
F Paulina Afriyie,
The senior enjoyed every minute of the clubs’ run to the PSAL Class A crown to close her career. Afriyie, who runs the floor well for her size, tallied 20.7 points and 15.9 rebounds a contest.
C Brianna Alberga,
Alberga was the blue-collar force behind Truman’s superb season. When the senior, who averaged 17 points and 15 rebounds in the postseason, was on her game the Mustangs were near impossible to beat.
F Devyn Elliot,
The sophomore forward began to come into her own this season. Elliot was a physical force, scoring inside and controlling the glass regularly. The Pilots have a talented player for years to come.
F Charlette Leurs,
Leurs could score by attacking the backboard and out on the break. The sophomore, who averaged 17.5 points, 15.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists, will be the lynchpin of the Lions program for years to come.
G Chanell Williams,
Williams, who scored 15 points in the CHSAA state semifinals, was a sparkplug for the Crusaders on both ends of the floors. The junior can score on dynamic drives and had a knack for getting in the passing lane.
G Aryani Ferreira, KIPP NYC
F Nicole Hill, Cardinal Spellman
F Jennifer Lightner, Morris
F Maria Minaya, Truman
G Jordan Nixon, Horace Mann
F Arta Krasniqi, Kennedy
G Christine Rice, Preston
G Jenae Smythe, Kennedy
F Kina Smith, Mott Haven
F Karla Wilson, Evander Childs