THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS

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Impressive Start
Westies top Danbury in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 13, 2022)
 - The last time the West Haven girls basketball team set foot on the court the season ended in a second round upset against Danbury. Just nine months later, the Westies got to avenge that loss.
Behind a balanced attack, with nine different players in the scoring column, the Westies rolled to a 50-24 victory over the Hatters in the season opener for both teams at West Haven High.
West Haven scored the first eight points in the contest and never trailed in the opening victory. The Westies led by 12 after one quarter and 32-9 at the half.
A basket by Ella Morgan and two free throws by Kassidy Carrano had West Haven ahead 8-0, before the Hatters rolled off the next four points. West Haven then closed the quarter on an 11-3 run.
Isabella Fiorillo, who opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, drained another for an 11-4 advantage, before the Westies closed the quarter on an 8-0 run on baskets from Carrano, Arianna Titus, and Amani Abuhatab, and a pair of free throws from freshman Ciara Harp.
After Danbury scored the first two points of the second quarter, the Westies closed the half with a 13-0 run.
Harp and Carrano opened with 3-pointers, Mya Flemming and T’Naiyah Watters hit baskets, and Abuhatab ended the run with a free throw and a field goal. West Haven outscored Danbury 18-15 in the second half to secure the win.

Carrano led the Westies with 15 points, Abuhatab had 13, and Fiorillo finished with six in the win.


Lack of Offense
Westies fall to Hand in early showdown
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 16, 2022)
 - Annie Goodrich and her Hand basketball team had struggled to get going offensively for 24 minutes against West Haven Friday evening. The final 8 minutes were a different story.
Scoring 11 of her team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter, Goodrich led the Tigers to a 55-40 Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision victory over the Westies.
The win for the Tigers, ranked third in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, helped Hand win its second straight contest to start the year. West Haven fell to 1-1.
“Composure was definitely a big thing,” Goodrich said. “West Haven is a very competitive team. They are very good. They have many good players. I think we just needed to slow down and get a little bit of composure out there.”  
The game did not have the offensive firepower which was expected from the start as the two teams combined for just five points in the opening quarter and 29 in the first half. While both defenses played a big part in the lack of offense, so too did poor shot selection and sloppy ball control by both teams.
West Haven came into the game with high expectations after an opening night victory over Danbury, but managed just a pair of free throws by Amani Abuhatab in the opening quarter.
The first field goal for the Westies came 44 seconds into the second quarter when Abuhatab drained a 3-pointer for a 5-3 lead. A free throw by Abuhatab and two buckets by Arianna Titus gave the Westies a 10-8 lead with 2:25 left in the half.
“Their zone defense definitely gave us trouble, but everything we worked on in practice, we didn’t do,” West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. “Instead of the attacking the basket, we are going East-West instead of North-South. We were just timid and not aggressive on the offensive end. The middle was wide open. Nobody would get in there.”
Hand then took off on a 10-1 run to end the half as Natalie Lucas and Coco Rourke gave the Tigers a 12-11 advantage before a 3-pointer by Lucas increased the margin to 16-11. When Lucy Schwarz drained a field goal, the Tigers went to the half up 18-11.
While the offense for both teams struggled in the first 16 minutes, the second half was a different story, especially for the Tigers. Hand put the game away with a 16-10 run, with its biggest lead being 13 points, 27-14, on a bucket by Rourke.
“We were finding that open gap and looking long,” Goodrich said. “Coach (Tredwell) tells me all the time to go long because I am going to be open.”
Hand’s defense took over from there, forcing West Haven into uncharacteristic turnovers and poor shots. West Haven got as close as nine points on a basket by Ciara Harp, but each time the Westies got within a three-possession game, Hand had an answer.
“Our defense has been solid,” Moriarty said. “We got tired in the second half, and they are a disciplined, well-coached team. They were cutting back door and taking advantage of our tiredness. They found the openings.”
Goodrich then took over in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers put the game away. After West Haven again got within nine, 39-30, on a basket and free throw by Abuhatab, Goodrich again hit another big basket for a 41-30 advantage with 4 minutes to go.
“I think we settled down a little bit,” Hand coach Tim Tredwell said. “West Haven is such a good team. They have the reigning Coach of the Year (Moriarty) and the reigning Player of the Year (Abuhatab) in the SCC. The gym was great. It was a loud environment.  It was a great league game. I think everybody was hyped up for it. With that comes some nerves and jitters. We were missing bunnies and lay ups. Both teams were playing good, solid physical defense. Finally, it was going to be who was going to be the first one to take a deep breath and settle into their offense.” 
Abuhatab tried to will her team back into the contest with a 3-pointer and another basket, but Goodrich scored six of her team’s last seven points to ice the contest.
“These kids have bought in,” Tredwell said. “We kind of tweaked our defense this year and we have really worked on it these first couple of weeks. They have bought in and they have asked the right questions. They have talked it out. They have committed to the scouting reports. It is something I have not seen in a long, long time.”
Lucas finished with 12 points and Carson Miller added 10 in the win for the Tigers.

Abuhatab led the Westies with a game-high 19 points, while Dealyce Howard scored eight and Titus finished with seven.


Decisive Win
Westies roll past Law
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 20, 2022)
 - The West Haven girls basketball team responded from a tough loss against Hand-Madison with a resounding 73-37 victory at Jonathan Law Tuesday evening.
After struggling to score against the Tigers, West Haven came out firing in Milford with 34 first half points. The Westies had a balanced scoring attack in their second win of the season with nine different players scoring.
Isabella Fiorillo led the way with 15 points, Amani Abuhatab and Noelle Lawrence each scored 14, Kassidy Carrano scored 10, and Arianna Titus scored eight.
The Westies jumped in front quickly with 16 first quarter points as six different players scored, led by Fiorillo with five and Dealyce Howard with four.
Lawrence connected on three 3-pointers in the second quarter, and Fiorillo and Abuhatab each scored three points in the stanza. The Westies put the game away with 16 more in the third as Fiorillo scored seven and Titus added six points.


Sheehan tops Westies
WH falls 63-58
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 22, 2022)
 - After a rebound performance and a dominant victory over Jonathan Law, the West Haven girls basketball team was looking to carry that performance into Wallingford. The Westies could not do so and fell to Sheehan 63-58 Thursday evening, falling to 2-2 on the year.
Amani Abuhatab led the way for the Westies with 25 points, while Kassidy Carrano scored 13 points. Ciara Harp scored eight points and Isabella Fiorillo added seven.
Abuhatab scored eight of her team’s 11 first quarter points, with the other points coming on a 3-pointer from Fiorillo. Abuhatab added six more in the second quarter, Harp added five more, and Fiorillo scored four.

Carrano drained three 3-pointers as part of West Haven’s 13-point third quarter. Abuhatab added eight more in the fourth and Carrano had four, but it was not enough in the five-point loss.


Holiday Victory
Westies top Norwalk
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 28, 2022)
 - The West Haven girls basketball team improved to 3-2 with a 67-40 victory over Norwalk in the opening round of the West Haven Holiday Tournament Wednesday afternoon at West Haven High.
The Westies led by 14 at the half and pulled away in the second half with a 29-16 run. West Haven limited Norwalk to just three second half field goals.
Amani Abuhatab led all scorers with 23 points and also added 15 rebounds in the win. Noelle Lawrence scored nine points, and Kassidy Carrano and Isabella Fiorillo each scored eight points for West Haven.
Abuhatab led West Haven with nine first quarter points as the Westies took a 14-12 lead. West Haven then pulled away in the second quarter.
A 24-12 run was led by Abuhatab with eight points and Ciara Harp with six points. Dealyce Howard and Ella Morgan each scored four points in the decisive second quarter.

West Haven increased the lead to 52-31 in the third quarter as five different players were in the scoring column, led by Fiorillo with five.


Hamden tops Westies
Green Dragons win WH Holiday Tournament
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 29, 2022)
 - The cycle for alternating wins and losses unfortunately continued for the Westies Thursday afternoon. Held to just 16 points in the first half, the Westies rallied but fell 57-50 to Hamden in the final of the West Haven Christmas Tournament at West Haven High.
West Haven struggled offensively in the opening half, managing just three field goals in each of the first two quarters. The 16 points also came from just two players as both Amani Abuhatab and Ciara Harp each scored eight points.
The Westies picked up the offense in the third quarter, nearly matching the first half output with 14 points. Abuhatab hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Noelle Lawrence and Isabella Fiorillo each drained one.
Looking to mount a comeback, the Westies hurt themselves in the final eight minutes by missing six free throws. West Haven was just 8-of-15 from the free throw line in the game.
Harp led West Haven’s 20-point fourth quarter with 10 points, while Fiorillo and Abuhatab each had three points.

Harp led West Haven with 18 points, Abuhatab added 17 points, and Fiorillo scored six in the loss.


Westies roll past East Haven
Abuhatab, Carrano Harp lead way in win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 3, 2023) 
- The West Haven girls basketball team improved to 4-3 with a 66-32 victory over East Haven Tuesday evening at West Haven High. The Westies had seven players in the scoring column and were led by Amani Abuhatab with 22 points.
Kassidy Carrano and Ciara Harp each scored 14 points, while Dealyce Howard scored eight. Carrano finished the contest with four 3-pointers and Harp drained a pair.
The Westies were on their game from the start with 20 points in the opening quarter and 38 in the first half. Carrano drained a pair of 3-pointers in the opening quarter and Abuhatab scored four points.
Abuhatab and Harp did the damage in the second quarter as Abuhatab knocked down four field goals for eight points, while Harp hit two 3-pointers and a field goal for eight points of her own.

Carrano hit two more 3-pointers in the third quarter and had eight points, while Abuhatab connected for five more points in the third.


Two in a Row
Westies improve to 5-3 with win over Hillhouse
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 6, 2023)
 - The West Haven girls basketball team improved to 5-3 with a 72-49 victory over Hillhouse Friday evening at West Haven High. The victory was West Haven’s second straight and third in its last four games.
Amani Abuhatab led the Westies with 30 points, while Kassidy Carrano finished with 16, and Dealyce Howard had eight. Carrano was solid from the outside, draining four 3-pointers.
West Haven put the game away early, leading by 11 after one quarter, and 42-19 at the half. Despite an evenly played second half, the 23-point deficit was too much for Hillhouse to overcome.
Abuhatab scored 11 of her team’s 22 first quarter points with Carrano, Isabella Fiorillo, and Ciara Harp all draining 3-pointers in the quarter.
Carrano and Abuhatab helped put the game away in the second quarter with Carrano scoring seven and Abuhatab six.

Abuhatab added six more in the third to go along with five from Howard and four from Arianna Titus, before Abuhatab helped close the game by scoring seven of her team’s 12 fourth quarter points.


Three Straight
Westies top Guilford in balanced attack
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 10, 2023)
 - The West Haven girls basketball team improved to 6-3 with a 79-47 victory at Guilford Tuesday evening. The win was the third in a row for the Westies and fourth in five games.
Amani Abuhatab and Isabella Fiorillo led the way for West Haven with 16 points apiece. Abuhatab added 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks, while Fiorillo had five assists.
Ciara Harp scored 15 points and had two steals, Kassidy Carrano scored nine points, along with 10 rebounds and two assists, while Dealyce Howard added eight points in the win.
The Westies came out of the gates running as Abuhatab scored five points and Noelle Lawrence drained a 3-pointer in a 12-point first quarter. West Haven continued the quick scoring in the second quarter as four players combined for 24 points, led by Harp’s nine points on three 3-pointers, eight points from Fiorillo, four from Ella Morgan, and three from Howard.

The Westies pulled away with 22 points in the third quarter. Carrano scored nine points, and Abuhatab and Fiorillo each scored six.


Four in a Row
Westies top Lyman Hall
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 13, 2023)
 - The West Haven girls basketball team is starting to heat up. With three players in double figures, the Westies topped Lyman Hall 65-47 Friday evening at West Haven High.
Amani Abuhatab led the Westies with 14 points, Kassidy Carrano had 12 points, and Dealyce Howard scored 11 as the Westies won their fourth straight game to improve to 7-3.
Abuhatab also added 12 rebound, seven assists, three steals, and three blocks, while Carrano had seven rebounds and five assists. Arianna Titus was solid on the boards with 11 rebounds, while Ella Morgan pulled down 10.
The Westies trailed by three points after one quarter, before turning the game around with a 21-10 run in the second quarter to take a 32-24 lead at the half. West Haven increased the lead to 12 in the third, before pulling away in the fourth quarter.
Howard led the way in the third quarter as she scored seven of the team’s 21 points, while Noelle Lawrence added five and Carrano four.
Abuhatab and Harp heated up in the third quarter as Harp scored eight points, Abuhatab had seven, and Carrano and Lawrence each drained 3-pointers.

Five different players scored in the fourth quarter with Isabella Fiorillo leading the way with four points.


Win Streak Over
Westies fall to SHA
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 16, 2023) 
- The four-game winning streak has come to an end for the West Haven girls basketball team. Falling behind early, the Westies never regrouped and fell to Sacred Heart Academy 77-54 Monday afternoon at West Haven High.
Amani Abuhatab led West Haven with 18 points, Dealyce Howard scored 12, and Ciara Harp scored 11 in the loss. Howard added a pair of 3-pointers in the loss.
Sacred Heart came out firing, scoring the first 10 points of the game and leading 27-14 after one quarter. Meg Kirck led sacred Heart as she drained six 3-pointers in the opening quarter and finished with 26 points.
The Westies connected on just four field goals in the opening half, with Abuhatab and Kassidy Carrano each hitting a basket and a 3-pointer.
Carrano’s 3-pointer with five seconds remaining in the opening quarter got West Haven within 27-14. Abuhatab had seven points in the opening quarter for the Westies.
West Haven got within eight points in the second quarter on a bucket by Abuhatab, and a 3-pointer by Harp to get within 29-21. A 3-pointer by Howard got the Westies within 31-24, but West Haven never got closer.
Sacred Heart went on a 6-0 run, before Abuhatab drained a pair of free throws. When Abuhatab connected again, West Haven trailed 41-28.

Looking to get closer in the third quarter, West Haven watched as Sacred Heart opened with a pair of 3-pointers for a 57-31 lead.


Thriller
Abuhatab lifts Westies past Hand
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 20, 2023)
 - After falling to Sacred Heart Academy, the West Haven basketball team was looking to get back on track. The Westies did so in emphatic fashion.
Amani Abuhatab’s basket with 3. 1 seconds remaining in regulation lifted the Westies to a 60-59 victory over fifth-ranked Hand in Madison Friday evening. West Haven’s fifth win in its last six games helped improve the team’s record to 8-4, and also avenged an earlier season loss to the Tigers in West Haven.
The Westies trailed 10-0 and 12-1 in the opening quarter, but they turned the game around with a 21-9 run of their own in the opening half. The game remained close, allowing Kassidy Carrano to give West Haven a 58-57 lead late in the fourth quarter.
After Hand answered, Abuhatab worked through traffic, connecting on her mid-range jumper to send West Haven to the victory.

Read article from Dave Phillips of GameTimeCT.com
MADISON – When it’s crunch time, the plan for the West Haven girls basketball team is to get the ball into the hands of Amani Abuhatab.
And Abuhatab came through big-time Friday night for the Blue Devils as she canned the game-winner, a 10-foot jumper from the left side with 3.1 seconds remaining as West Haven upset No. 5 Hand 60-59 in a Southern Connecticut Conference girls’ basketball contest.
“I just had to step up in a big moment,” said Abuhatab, who led all scorers with 26 points. “We were down one and to beat a good team I had to make the shot.”
“She’s the best player on the floor and with her, I have all the confidence in the world,” West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. “She’s proven to be one of the best players in the state and when you have that on your team, you want that kid to have the ball.”
Hand (9-3) had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Annie Goodrich’s long pass went off the left hand of Natalie Lucas just in front of the free throw line and West Haven’s Kassidy Carrano dove on the ball as time expired.
“With two bodies around her, she didn’t get a clean catch on it,” Hand coach Tim Tredwell said. “It’s something we’ve practiced a little bit, but clearly not enough. We had a chance. It just didn’t work out.”
It also threw West Haven (8-4) into the mix in what has been a wild three-team race for second place behind Hand, Mercy and Sacred Heart Academy in the SCC behind unbeaten and top-ranked Hamden.
“We sent a message we can compete with higher teams,” Abuhatab said. “Our whole team wanted it today.”
Moriarty said it was clearly the biggest win of the season to date for the Blue Devils.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Moriarty said. “Those four teams are all tremendous teams. This was a huge win tonight to prove we can play with those top teams.” Tredwell said it’s a battle every night.
“This league is stacked,” Tredwell said. “You have to show up every single night. If you make the semifinals or through the semifinals in the SCC, you’ll accomplish something.”
Hand raced out to a quick 12-1 lead in under four minutes behind the shooting of Natalie Lucas, who had nine points in the first quarter.
“We just had to settle down,” Moriarty said. “We were erratic and were doing things that weren’t in the scouting report. We were doing the opposite.”

However, the Blue Devils slowly chipped away, taking the lead 22-21 on a bucket by Isabella Fiorillo with 2:36 to play until halftime.


Quick Start
Westies run past Law 72-34
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 23, 2023)
 - Coming off a thrilling victory over fifth-ranked Hand-Madison, the West Haven girls basketball team knew it needed to avoid a trap game. The Westies played accordingly.
Scoring the first 20 points of the game, West Haven cruised to a 72-34 victory over Jonathan Law Monday evening at West Haven High. The win was West Haven’s sixth in seven games and helped the Westies improve to 9-4 on the year.
The Westies converted four steals in the opening minutes and forced eight turnovers in less than a dozen Law possessions to start the contest. As a result, the transition game of the Westies got going early.
Amani Abuhatab opened the scoring, was followed by a 3-pointer from Dealyce Howard, then Abuhatab drained the next two baskets for a 9-0 advantage. A Kassidy Carrano basket improved the margin to 11-0 just 1:59 in, then Carrano sandwiched another basket around one from Ella Morgan for a 15-0 lead.
Howard followed with another basket and Isabella Fiorillo drained a 3-pointer for the 20-0 advantage with 4:02 remaining in the opening quarter.

West Haven led 22-9 after the opening quarter, and the Westies opened the second quarter with another 3-pointer by Fiorillo. Abuhatab increased the margin to 28-12, before a pair of free throws by Howard and two baskets by Carrano increased the margin to 34-15 as West Haven went to the half with a 37-21 advantage.


Late Rally
Carrano, Harp lead Westies past Lancers
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 26, 2023)
 - It may not have been as easy as the team would have liked, but the West Haven girls basketball team picked up its tenth win of the season with a 39-31 victory over Notre Dame-Fairfield at West Haven High Thursday evening. With the victory, the Westies improved to 10-4 on the year.
Trailing 31-28 in the fourth quarter, West Haven closed the game on an 11-0 run to win it seventh contest in its last eight games.  
Kassidy Carrano drained a 3-pointer to even the game at 31 with 2:30 remaining, before Ciara Harp gave the Westies the lead for good when she followed with a basket. Carrano then connected on a pair of buckets in the final 39 seconds for a 37-31 advantage, before Harp sealed the deal with a pair of free throws.
Leading 8-5, West Haven watched as Notre Dame went on a 6-0 run for an 11-8 lead. Baskets by Carrano and Amani Abuhatab gave the Westies the lead before Notre Dame went on a run to take a 19-17 lead in the third quarter.
Abuhatab connected on a basket and free throw for a 20-19 West Haven advantage. The Westies trailed 30-25 before Isabella Fiorillo drained a 3-pointer to get West Haven going in the fourth.
West Haven outscored the Lancers 16-6 in the final quarter with Carrano scoring seven points and Harp adding four.

Carrano led West Haven with 12 points, Abuhatab finished with 11 and Harp added 10.


Abuhatab leads Westies
Senior scores 20 in 43-39 win over Sheehan
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 27, 2023) -
 Despite her team’s offensive struggles, West Haven senior Amani Abuhatab knew the Westies just needed to find a way in the final eight minutes. Regarded as one of the best players in the state, Abuhatab showed everyone why that is so.
Scoring six of her team’s 10 fourth quarter points, including four consecutive points to break a tie with three minutes remaining in regulation, Abuhatab led the Westies to a 43-39 victory over Sheehan in a Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision contest at West Haven High Friday evening.
“We had to be mentally tough,” Abuhatab said. “We had to work well as a team. We were missing our shots and we had to adjust and step up in big moments to win the game.”
Not only did Abuhatab finish with a game-high 20 points, she was a force on the boards, finishing with 21 rebounds, including several early in the fourth quarter when the two teams were battling for the lead.
“Amani is obviously, in our opinion, the best player in the state,” Moriarty said of her senior star. “Obviously, she is the full package. She does it all. She didn’t play her best tonight and still scored 20 points. That says something in itself.
“She is a competitor and wants to win. She steps up in big moments, whether it is getting fouled or putting the ball in the basket. The game was tight. Our shots were off. We weren’t hitting. When the game is on the line, we want the ball in her hands.”  
The victory was West Haven’s fourth in a row and eighth in nine games to help the Westies improve to 11-4 on the year. The win also capped a week of three more victories after a thrilling win over Hand a week earlier.
“We know Sheehan is a very good team so we had to really lock them up, contest all their shots, get over their screens, and box them out as they are really tall,“ Abuhatab said.
For Sheehan, it was a game which saw a slow start, then a rally to take the lead (32-30) for the first time in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by freshman Jenna Wresien, before the offense again sputtered in the fourth quarter. The Titans hit on only two field goals in the final eight minutes, a bucket by Susan Hotaling to get within 39-37 with three minutes to go, and another by Olivia Cassesse with 10 seconds to go to get Sheehan within three.
“We just got out of sync,” Sheehan coach Mike Busillo said after his team fell to 11-3. “I thought we turned the ball over a few too many times. We missed a couple of makeable ones. We didn’t do a good job moving the ball and getting into our sets. Part of it was them. They played with a lot of good defensive intensity tonight.”   
Abuhatab iced the game at the free throw line for the Westies with seven seconds remaining. The Westies only hit on three field goals in the final quarter, the first by Ella Morgan to even the game at 35, and the final two by Abuhatab.
Leading by three, Abuhatab increased the lead to four points with 39.5 seconds to go and the rest was up to the West Haven defense.
“Our defense has been excellent yesterday and today,” Moriarty said. “We had to obviously improve on communicating with screens and things like that, but, for the most part overall, we did a solid job defensively. They are a very good team. There were a lot of contested shots. We were able to jam them on the 3-point line.”  
The Westies got off to a quick start in the game with a 10-2 lead as Abuhatab scored the first six points, followed by a basket by Dealyce Howard.
A 3-pointer by Sheehan’s Reilly Hunter got the Titans within 16-15, and another 3-pointer by Megan Wresien cut the West Haven lead to 20-18. The Westies answered with 3-pointers by Noelle Lawrence and Isabella Fiorillo to take a 26-20 lead at the half.
“We had two tough games in a row, and I think our legs are definitely tired,” Moriarty said. “We are a talented team. Sometimes we overthink, instead of letting the game come to them.”
The Westies struggled offensively in the third quarter as they managed just two field goals, one apiece by Abuhatab and Kassidy Carrano, as Sheehan took a 35-33 lead on a bucket by Megan Wresien with two seconds left in the third quarter.

Ella Morgan had six points in the win for the Westies, while Lawrence added five. Hotaling led Sheehan with 12 points, while Megan Wresien added 10 in the loss.

GIRLS BASKETBALL 2022-2023

All-State Players - Kelley Camp '75, '76; Sue Passander '79; Catrina Hawley '97, '98; Jayva Johnson '13; Amani Abuhatab '21
Retired Numbers - Kelley Camp (Class of 1977) #13; Catrina Hawley (Class of 1998) #41