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The combined St. Peter’s/Stella Niagara girls varsity basketball team is having a season for the ages.
Despite only having eight players – and squaring off with much larger teams – the squad went undefeated in 10 Bishop Duffy/St. Sebastian’s Division games.
The girls have their first WNY Girls Diocesan Tournament game March 4 at Sacred Heart Academy.
Participating students include Elizabeth Allen, Paden Berrigan, Reese Berrigan, Marra Gagliardo, Antoinella LeBlanc, Sophie London, Addison Papaj and Ava Villela. Coaches include Tom Miller and assistants Nick Proenza and Katie Minicucci.
The two schools combined teams last year.
Miller said, “This has been a truly remarkable season with some very talented girls from our sister schools. These young ladies are not only teammates, but have become trusting and caring friends in the process. I am very blessed to share in this experience and it is a true honor to work with so many wonderful parents and faculty. … Also, I have to give a huge shoutout to my assistants, Nick and Katie. They are awesome!”
St. Peter’s School Athletic Director Leah Zahradnik said, “For a small school like St Peter’s, I am so proud of what we have accomplished; playing against schools that are pretty much all larger than us, it is so impressive. It’s been 16 years since we’ve had a team with results like we’ve had this year. Some of these girls I have known and taught since they were in first grade, and it has been just a joy watching the young women they have become – and how they’ve grown as athletes. Not only do they have the skills, they have the camaraderie and love for one another that is essential to being a successful team.”
Stella Niagara Director of Institutional Advancement Amy Reynolds said, “Our girls basketball team was undefeated for three years preceding the COVID outbreak, and we are proud to say that the tradition continues in 2023 with our combined team of St. Peter's and Stella Niagara! Congratulations to all and a big thanks to SNEP alumni Tom Miller, Nick Proenza and Katie Minicucci for coaching the team. We are so happy to work together to provide our students with exceptional opportunities like this with our partner in Catholic education in Lewiston, St. Peter R.C. School.”