Riverhawks women’s basketball falls short 61-59 in home opener


Dan Elson

The Riverhawks women’s basketball team lost 61-59 on Tuesday to Penn State York. AACC’s next game is on Nov. 5 against the Brookdale Community College Jersey Blues.

Dan Elson and Cole Popov

The Riverhawks women’s basketball team came back from a 13-point deficit but lost in its home opener to Penn State York 61-59 on Nov. 1.

Riverhawks starting center Syrena Boone shot 31.25% from the field and 50% from three. She had 14 points and 19 rebounds. Shooting guard Brandy Middleton led the team with 17 points and went 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Guard Isabella Papaleonti added 14 and led the team with three assists. 

“I think we made really good decisions on offense [and] we made our open shots,” Boone, a second-year business student, noted.

Women’s basketball head coach Lionel Makell said the team had no first-game jitters.

“This is our first game against live action other than what’s in practice, which is different,” Makell said. So [I’m] very proud of them. They fought [hard and] we were down 13 in the first quarter and came back.”

Papaleonti, a first-year psychology student who took two years off of basketball, said it felt great to be back on the court.

“It was an adjustment, but it felt really good to play,” Papaleonti, a guard, said.

Papaleonti said an adjustment to make for the next game better communication.

“I feel like our main thing that we need to start working on is communication on defense and offense,” Papaleonti said.

Makell agreed.

“We just have to play smarter in certain situations,” Makell said.

For Penn State York, point guard Jayla Brown led the team in scoring with 16 points, six rebounds and an assist. Desi Garcia-Hernandez had 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Second-year occupational therapy student Jillian Foster added 11 points with one assist and five rebounds.

“I think it would have been a difficult loss had we not come out on [top],” Penn State York women’s head basketball coach Tory Harvey told Campus Current. “But we still gave maximum effort and we always talked about giving 100% effort, energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude. They accomplish that.” 

Garcia-Hernandez said she was happy about the outcome.

 “I feel good for the first game,” Garcia-Hernandez said. “I’m pretty sure we all have nerves. But I think we played really good and we started to know each other. So I feel pretty good.” 

Garcia-Hernandez said the team trusted “each other and we played hard as a team.”

Brown, a third-year human development student, said the team “did very well on passing the ball and looking for each other and definitely [played well on] defense.”

The Riverhawks’ next game is on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. at home against the Brookdale Community College Jersey Blues. Penn State York’s next game is on Saturday against the Berkeley Knights at 1 p.m.