St. Mary’s Queliz Receives Offers From Division 1 College Basketball Programs

St. Mary’s junior Yirsy Queliz is everything you would want in an elite point guard: she can run the break, shoot the three, drive the lane, distribute the basketball, and play the tough defense.

Queliz showed just how great she can be in the Spartans’ 59-37 victory over Pentucket in the season opener Friday night. Queliz scored 21 points and had 11 assists as St. Mary’s defeated a perennial Division 2 powerhouse on the road in front of a large crowd.

St. Mary’s High School junior guard Yirsy Queliz, shown in action in the Paul Duchane Basketball Jamboree Saturday,
has received Division 1 women’s college basketball scholarship offers from Northeastern and Sacred Heart.

Women’s college basketball programs are taking notice of Queliz’s talents. In fact, two Division 1 college basketball programs – Northeastern in Boston and Sacred Heart in Connecticut – have offered her scholarships. Other schools have Yirsy Queliz on their list of potential recruits.

St. Mary’s head coach Jeffrey Newhall said the fact that his 5-foot-3-inch star is garnering big-time attention is not a surprise.

“Yirsy is obviously a gifted basketball player and I’m glad that she’s being noticed by programs and coaches at the highest level,” said Newhall.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Queliz is in her fourth season in the St. Mary’s program. When she was a rising guard as a freshman in 2020, the Spartans won a state title [COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the state final, but the MIAA officially crowned all semifinal winners as state champions]. There were no state playoffs in 2021 after a 20-win season and All-Scholastic honors for Queliz and teammates Maiya Bergdorf and Nicolette D’Itria.

This season, Queliz is a leader of a potent team that includes starters, junior Niya Morgen, junior Kellyn Preira, seventh grader Bella Owumi, and senior Olivia Abbott.

Queliz is excited about her college offers from Division 1 schools.

“I feel great about it,” said Queliz. “Coming from the Dominican Republic, I never expected opportunities like this when I began playing here.”

Queliz started playing basketball at the age of four in a country known for its amazing baseball legacy and Red Sox superstars such as David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez.

“My father and my cousin brought me to the basketball court,” recalled Queliz.

The daughter of Luis Queliz and Yelena Lora, Yirsy said she has worked hard to improve her skills. In addition to playing for St. Mary’s, she is a member of the MCW Stars AAU basketball team.

Yirsy said she will not decide about college until her senior year. For now, Yirsy is focusing on bringing more titles home to St. Mary’s and being part of a vibrant school community.

“I love my school and my team,” said Yirsy. “Mr. Newhall is a great coach and I’m glad he’s my coach.”

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