By Steve Svetovich
Senior point guard Alyssa Alfano is an unsung hero as the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders at press time have won 14 of the first 15 basketball games.
At press time, Alyssa, daughter of Sherri Alfano and the late Tony Alfano, is seventh with a 13 points per game scoring average in Lackawanna League Division III. Her teammates, Abby Anderson and Lexi Walsh, average 16.7 and 12.8 points per game, respectively, giving the team a potent 1-2-3 punch.
And Alyssa leads the Lackawanna League Division III at press time with a spectacular .923 free throw percentage.
A team player all the way, Alyssa also averages 3.5 assists per game as the floor leader.
Her younger sister, Amanda, is a sophomore member of the Lady Crusaders basketball team coached by veteran Barry Fitzgerald.
Alyssa, 18, has played AAU travel basketball since she was in the fifth grade. Last summer she played for JV Hoops. She was an all-tournament selection last summer while helping a team comprised of mostly Holy Cross players win the 2015 Luzerne-Lackawanna Challenge sponsored by Januzzi’s Pizza.
Alyssa is a four-year member of the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders basketball team. She played with a fractured finger for the second half of her sophomore season. She also had an ankle injury during her junior year that kept her out of the first five games.A member of the softball team as a sophomore, she is a member of the Service Club, Foreign Languages Club and Student Council. Her favorite subject is Latin.
Very polite and humble, Alyssa also believes in giving back to the community. She received the Presidential Service Award for over 100 hours of community service work. She also received a Service Award for Habitat for Humanity.
Alyssa helped the Lady Crusaders win the James Akens Memorial Tournament at North Pocono High School. Holy Cross defeated North Pocono in the title game. Alyssa was named to the all-tournament team. Teammate Abby Anderson was MVP in the tournament.
Alyssa, small in stature but very quick, is an honor student with a 3.3 grade point average. She hopes to play basketball and study athletic training in college.
At press time, she has scored over 700 points in her varsity basketball career at Holy Cross. She talked about what it takes to excel at the point guard position. “You have to handle the ball well and know how to distribute the ball,” she said.
Alyssa said she learned a lot from coach Fitzgerald. “He teaches me to communicate well with the other players on the team, so we can all be on the same page.”
Her mom, a school teacher, has been a big influence on her game and academic success. “She always tells me if you don’t keep trying, then you won’t succeed.”
Her grandparents, Hank and Joan Gerrity, are very close to Alyssa and come to every basketball game. “They always teach me about dedication,” she said.
Alyssa was also close to her late grandparents, Philomena Alfano and Tony Alfano Sr.
Alyssa’s late dad, Tony, a dedicated father and husband, died when she was 10. But he was a constant support and his steady influence is always there. “He told me you have to love what you do and be happy doing it.”
Alyssa, who scored a season high 19 points against Carbondale, said she enjoys running in her spare time and studied dance for several years. She enjoys music and would like to see Taylor Swift in concert.
She talked about her goals. “Well, right now I want to help my team win the league and district titles. I would like to play basketball in college and eventually have a career in athletic training.”
Alyssa, always dedicated and team oriented, said she has enjoyed her four years at Holy Cross as she nears graduation. “Holy Cross is like one great community. The kids reach out to help each other. We are all very close. The teachers and administration do anything they can to help you.”
And with Alyssa’s efficient passing, scoring and ball handling, the team remains confident with her at the point guard for the rest of her senior season.