ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Classical coaches Tom Sawyer, left, and Helen Ridley, right, gave seniors Soneta Srey, second from left, and Priscill Alouidor a gift at the Rams’ girls basketball banquet Tuesday.
By KATIE MORRISON
LYNN — The Lynn Classical girls basketball team had a season to remember in 2016-17. The Rams won 17 games, the highest win total for Classical since the 2003-04 season. They not only got the chance to host a state tournament game, but were able to win in their home gym, beating North Andover, 59-47, before falling to Billerica in the Division 1 North quarterfinals.
The Rams celebrated their impressive season on Tuesday night at Old Tyme Italian Cuisine in Lynn at the team’s annual banquet.
It was an emotional evening as Classical said farewell to a pair of seniors in Soneta Srey and Priscill Alouidor. Srey, a Northeastern Conference All-Star, was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. The senior scored a career-high 33 points against Everett in a season filled with highlights for both her and the Rams.
“We always put her (Srey) on the other team’s most important player,” Classical head coach Tom Sawyer said. “She always came through. She’s an unbelievable athlete.”
Alouidor received the Academic Achievement Award, as she holds a 4.18 grade point average and is 20th in her class.
The two seniors gave their own speeches at the end of the evening.
“Playing basketball isn’t just about winning, but about the memories you make and the fun you have, and I just realized that,” Srey said. “What you learn on the court, you apply to life as well.”
“I’m grateful for all the memories. There are times when I questioned playing this year, but I’m glad I did,” Alouidor said. “Even though I won’t be playing basketball in college, I will always tell people about the wonderful times I had at Classical.”
Paris Wilkey was honored as the team’s Best Offensive Player. The junior, who is closing in on 1,000 career points, averaged 17 points per game, scored 35 percent of the Rams’ points, and reached double figures in 20 of 22 games this season. She, along with Revere’s Valentina Pepic, was named co-Player of the Year in the NEC.
Irianis Delgado was named the Rookie of the Year for the Rams. Delgado became a large part of Classical’s offense as the season progressed, and scored 16 points in a 23-point victory over Saugus.
“She’s grown by leaps and bounds,” Sawyer said.
Jeylly Medrano, the team’s other NEC all-star selection, was named the Most Improved Player. Medrano had the tall task of taking over for 2016 Classical graduate Chenysse Hill at point guard, and Sawyer said she “did everything we asked of her and alleviated those concerns.”
Tyarah Horton received the Lady Ram Award for her hard work, dedication and hustle.
“We never have to coach her effort,” said Rams assistant coach Helen Ridley. “She’s our unsung hero.”
Also receiving awards for the sub-varsity teams were Izzy McGaughey (freshmen team’s Most Improved Player), Amber Crayton (freshmen Most Valuable Player), Jean Gupton (JV Most Improved Player), Jasmin Masse (JV Offensive Player of the Year) and Rebecca Walker (JV Coaches Award).
Sawyer thanked his coaching staff, which includes Ridley, junior varsity coach Rob Smith and freshmen coach Frank DeLuca. Ridley had kinds words of her own to share about Sawyer.
“This team has the best coach in the city. He could be a college coach,” Ridley said. “Your daughters are in great hands.”