Garnets Girls’ Keep Rolling

0:00 Teaghan Flaherty dribbles towards the net against Eastchester’s Angelina Porcello in the first half of a game at Rye High School on January 9. […]

Published January 13, 2020 4:06 PM
3 min read

0:00

Teaghan Flaherty dribbles towards the net against Eastchester’s Angelina Porcello in the first half of a game at Rye High School on January 9.

RHS GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Under New Coach, Garnets Are 9-1 and Reaching New Heights

BY LEIF SKODNICK

 

It was a modest celebration by basketball coaching standards, but for Garnets Head Coach Margo Hackett, it was the equivalent of leaping for joy.

 

“Yes!” yelled the coach in the third quarter of a 70-46 victory over Eastchester on January 9, both fists clenched at shoulder height as her team came to the bench, the Eagles having just called a timeout with 2:16 remaining in the period, seconds after Rye’s Teaghan Flaherty picked off a pass from the Eagles’ Patricia Murtaugh and dropped in a jumper from the left side of the lane.

 

Hackett isn’t demonstrative; she doesn’t scream. Wild gesticulations don’t emanate from the end of the Rye bench. At the start of the fourth quarter, she sat — sat! — at the end of the Garnets bench and stayed there for the opening 90-plus seconds of the final stanza.

 

“That’s my thing,” Hackett said shortly after a win that pushed the Garnets’ record to 9-1. “I’m a girl, I was there not too long ago, so I get it — we beat ourselves up more than anybody, so they don’t need a coach that’s there breathing down their neck and yelling.”

 

A Special Education teacher at Rye Middle School, Hackett took over the program from Dennis Hurlie, who stepped down after seven seasons that saw the Garnets make the Section 1 semifinals five times and win the gold ball twice.

 

Hackett had taken over a middling program at John Jay Cross River and got them to two sectional quarterfinals and a semifinal in four years.

 

“Last year. I got a teaching job here, and I was driving up to John Jay for practice and it was great,” Hackett, who was the all-time leading scorer at Pawling High School, said. “It had always been a dream of mine to teach and coach at the same school district, and to be able to do that in a district like Rye is life-changing.”

 

At halftime against Eastchester, the Garnets held a 29-26 lead in a bumpy, back-and-forth contest.

 

“We were disappointed, we weren’t playing the way we needed to play and that’s the most important thing for us,” Flaherty said. “We know we’re good. We know what we can do, and we just need to play like it.”

 

And, so, the Garnets stayed positive and kept working the press that Hackett instituted with her new team.

 

“She’s got a bunch of great plays, she really helps us with the press,” said Amanda Latkany, who had 17 points. “I think it’s a genius press actually — we get so much offensively from our press.”

 

The press, Flaherty explained, enabled her to see how the play was developing, enabling her to make that third quarter steal, and then another just over a minute later, which she finished with a right-handed layup.

 

Hackett said, “It’s difficult for them because we’re full-court pressing the entire game, we’re pushing the ball up the floor, we’re running different sets. It’s a different style of play and they have a whole new coaching staff, so I give them a lot of credit for being able to go 9-1 to start the year with so many big changes.”

 

But, as their record shows, the Garnets are handling the changes.

 

“Every game we play, we learn something, put it under our belts, and get better from it,” said Flaherty, who led the Garnets with 22 points in the win.

 

“In high school basketball, you learn so much more than just playing basketball, it’s about the life lessons,” Hackett said. “They’re at an age in life where they’re so moldable and shapeable, so that’s my goal. They’re a phenomenal group. They come in every day and work hard. They love each other and love the game.”

 

 

 

Teaghan Flaherty dribbles towards the net against Eastchester’s Angelina Porcello in the first half of a game at Rye High School on January 9.

 

Garnets Head Coach Margo Hackett talks with her team during a time out in the third quarter.

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