After an impressive 6-2 start to the season, the Rye High School girls basketball team has stumbled, losing four of their last six games.
The Garnets’ rough stretch began Jan. 5 at the Westchester County Center against last year’s Class AA Champion, White Plains, now in Class AAA. Despite an early lead, Rye found itself tied at halftime and ultimately was worn down by a more physical team in the second half, losing 57-50. Phoebe Greto (17), Molly Kennedy (12) and Paige Tepedino (10) combined for 39 of the Garnets’ 50 points.
The Garnets returned home on Jan. 8 to play Ardsley. but were overwhelmed, 56-35, despite 18 points from Greto. The following weekend, they traveled to the annual Autism Classic at Irvington High School to take on Lakeland High. The Garnets came out flat and were down 12 points at halftime, but a furious third-quarter rally got them back in the game heading into the fourth quarter. Still, despite a 16-point effort from Greto and 13 points from Tepedino, Lakeland prevailed 58-55 as a Garnet three-pointer to force overtime was in-and-out at the buzzer.
Rye broke its their three-game losing streak on Jan. 17 with an overwhelming, 73-17 victory over Edgemont, in which every player on the roster scored. The following day, Rye traveled to Pelham for what was arguably the most exciting game so far this season. The score was close throughout, despite Rye playing without two injured players (eighth-grader Stella Maresca and junior Kathleen Denvir), thanks in large part to Tepedino’s 20-point effort. But it was Pelham who won, 50-49, as time expired.
When Rye returned home to play their third game in three days, they soundly defeated Eastchester by a score of 59-24. Greto scored 30 points — a record for most points scored in a game by a Rye player during Coach Margo Hackett’s five-year tenure.
Throughout this challenging stretch, the Garnets have remained highly competitive: three of their four losses were by a combined 11 points.
“With a difficult schedule thus far, I’m proud of how the girls have continued to work,” Hackett said. “We are a young team and continuing to improve every day. Our goal is to be the best version of ourselves come February.”
The road ahead does not get any easier for Rye, as three of the remaining seven regular-season games are against highly ranked opponents: Harrison, Walter Panas and Ardsley. The Jan. 26 Harrison game will likely be played before a packed house when it starts at 7 p.m. at Rye High School, given the longstanding rivalry between the two schools.