Newburgh Free Academy’s girls’ basketball team reached the Section 9, Class AA quarterfinals Tuesday, Feb. 26, and played Washingtonville on the road to begin the postseason.
And the Lady Goldbacks, the five seed, topped the Wizards 45-44. Advancing to the semifinals, the Lady Goldbacks traveled to Warwick Thursday, and the Wildcats ended Newburgh’s season with a strong defensive effort, 39-25.
Gabby Palladino, a senior, led Newburgh with 11 points against the Wizards and scored 5 points against the Wildcats. Diamond Bullard, senior, scored 8 points against Washingtonville, and Alera Jicha, senior, scored 5 points against Warwick.
“I’m so proud of my team this year because they accomplished the goals they set for themselves,” said Arturo Santana, Newburgh’s coach. “We had some obstacles this year but overcame them together as a team. I will truly miss my seniors. They showed leadership and perseverance throughout the season and I’m extremely proud of them.”
E’Layasia Williams also graduates with Palladino, Bullard and Jicha. Ny-Aiha Brown scored 10 points against Washingtonville, and she returns with Ameesah Cotten, a center, sidelined this year with a knee injury.
“I think that players like Ny-Ajha Brown, Nyah Williams, Jayden Romero, Ingrid Murga and Ameesah Cotten (back from injury) will play a big part next season,” said Santana. “This year they got a taste of playing in big games and in the sections and that will help our team improve next year.”
Newburgh finished the season with a 10-12 record.