The Rye High girls’ basketball team handed Rye Country Day its second loss of the season on February 2 in a thriller that came down to the final shot. They then topped Lakeland, a No. 3 seed, on February 15 in the Section 1 Class A playoffs after beating Riverside, 63-31, in the opening round. But the Garnets lost, 53-39, against No. 11 seed Peekskill on February 19.
By Melanie Cane
The Rye High girls’ basketball team handed Rye Country Day its second loss of the season on February 2 in a thriller that came down to the final shot.
The Wildcats were 16-1 and playing at home coming into the game against the Garnets, which upped their record to 5-11 with the 50-47 upset.
The Garnets stopped Lakeland, a No. 3 seed, 45-30, on February 15 in the Section 1 Class A playoffs after beating Riverside, 63-31, in the opening round. The Garnets lost, 53-39, to No. 11 seed Peekskill away on February 19.
With seven seconds left to play in the game against Rye Country Day, Alanna Morque sunk a three-point, game-winning swish for the Garnets.
Although the game did not affect either team’s League standings, the coaches called it a great learning experience for both teams. Rye High started the game energized and hopeful, while Rye Country Day began somewhat sluggish and perhaps overconfident. The Wildcats are known for turning up the heat late in the game; and, when they finally did, Rye High rose to the challenge.
Senior Carolyn Binder led the Wildcats with 21 points. The Garnets’ top scorers were freshman Maddy Eck with 18 points and junior Rachel Egan with 16, including three three-point shots. Nereida Mendez was the second-highest scorer for Rye Country Day with 11 points.
Rye High Coach Dennis Hurlie said every player was given “the green light to shoot and Morque is great in the clutch. She can knock ‘em down.”
Hurlie praised Egan for her “smarts, ball-handling, and shooting,’’ and said he has to keep reminding himself that Eck, the team’s leader in scoring this season, is only a freshman. “She’s tremendous in all aspects of the game,” the coach said.
Wildcats Coach Margaret Scarcella said the Garnets’ defensive play kept the game competitive. “They made it extremely difficult for us to drive down the middle.”
Scarcella said she was frustrated by her team’s performance in the first half, when they fell behind, 26-21. “They didn’t take care of the ball,’’ she said. “They stepped it up in the second half, but it was not enough.”
Rye Country Day had three League games before the Fairchester Athletic Association playoffs, which began February 19.