Girls’ Basketball DII Championship: A Cinderella Story
The clock ticks down with an excited anticipation throughout the crowd, the buzzer sounds, and an elated basketball team finds themselves celebrating an incredible victory to close the season. The Chelsea Academy girls’ basketball team completed an amazing journey and won the Delaney Athletic Conference DII Championship on Saturday at Highland School.
Over the past three years the team has undergone a transformation under the coaching of Tom Mulvaney. His unique style of presenting the sport of basketball via storytelling and anecdotes, as well as a genuine care for his athletes, resulted in a highly motivated group of girls.
This year, the girls found themselves as the four seed in the DAC Division II conference tournament. Chelsea Academy hosted St. Michael the Archangel High School in the quarterfinal and emerged victorious after a strong performance. The victory in that game set up the semifinal match at the number one seed, Randolph Macon Academy.
The team was able to claw out of a deficit early in the game and was presented an opportunity being tied with less than two minutes to go. Using a bold strategy, Coach Mulvaney opted to hold possession and stall the clock for the final shot. With seven seconds remaining in regulation, Silvia Regaldo-Gomez put up a three-point attempt. Swish, nothing but net! With the crowd going wild the Knights were able to execute on defense and advanced to the championship game.
Like a scene out of Hoosiers, the Chelsea Academy basketball team entered the beautiful sports venue at Highland School for the championship game against the second seeded Tandem Friends School. The championship game was highly competitive with large cheering sections for both teams applauding their team’s success. With clutch free throw shooting down the stretch the Knights were able to hold onto the lead and complete their improbable run with a 37-32 victory.
The students, parents, and athletes in attendance were filled with positive emotion as they witnessed the presentation of all-conference honors and the championship plaque. For seniors Elizabeth Solomon, Ana Sotelo, Rose Norris, Cynthia Yu, and team manager Anastasia Puray this was a dream come true.
It has been a tremendous year for Chelsea Academy athletics with several teams advancing to the championship games already this year. After winning the DII boys soccer championship this fall it is certainly exciting to add the school’s first DAC championship in the sport of basketball. With continued support from the school community the sky is the limit for what these remarkable students can achieve.