Girls Varsity Basketball: 2023 HVAL Champions!
Harvey’s girls varsity basketball team finished what they had set out to do way back in the preseason. They are the 2022-23 champions of the Housatonic Valley Athletic League after defeating arch rival Watkinson 66-41 Saturday in the championship game at home in front of a big crowd of Cavalier fans.
It looked like the No. 1 seed Harvey team would be in for a battle against the No. 2 Rams as the two teams stayed close in the first four minutes of the game. The Cavs held a slim 9-8 lead with a little more than two minutes left in the first quarter. But the Harvey defense made some key stops and forced several turnovers to stifle Watkinson’s offensive efforts while junior McKensi Forde got to work, hitting her shots to help her teammates build a 19-10 lead by the end of the opening quarter.
The momentum stayed with Harvey in the second quarter as Watkinson continued to have trouble scoring. Forde and senior captain Kira Ortega kept the offense cooking as Harvey built up a 37-18 halftime lead.
The third quarter was more of the same as Forde and Ortega each scored seven points to help build a 53-33 lead.
In the fourth quarter, there was very little the Rams could do to narrow the deficit as they could not mount much of an offense, thanks to the Harvey defense. The two teams traded baskets which did not allow Watkinson any chance for a comeback.
McKensi Forde finished with 29 points. Ortega tallied 14 while Peyton Forde added 11, Amani Carty seven, and Fernanda Alexandre five.
A very happy Harvey head coach Victoria Shopovick said the attitude and effort of her team was impressive from the start to finish of this championship season. “They put in so much work during the season and came to practice each day ready to learn and get better,” the coach said. “They played not only as a team but as a family. They knew that they could win a championship and that’s what they did. I couldn’t be more proud of the girls and how they performed.”
The girls, with a 15-1 record against HVAL opponents and 22-2 overall, will host Millbrook School from Dutchess County in a quarterfinal of the NEPSAC Class C tournament Wednesday at 6 p.m. Harvey is the No. 3 seed and Millbrook is the No. 6.
Congratulations to our Harvey girls - the 2023 HVAL Girls Basketball Champions!