Latkany poses with her parents and Head Coach Margo Hackett after her making her milestone layup.
One Small Shot, One Thousand-Point Leap for Latkany in Garnet Romp
BY LEIF SKODNICK
It was a simple layup, rolled off the fingers, a carom off the glass backboard, and through the hoop.
And it was just one short moment in Amanda Latkany’s high school basketball career, but it was one that, less than a month ago, felt like it might never happen.
The layup, which came on a fast break in the first minute of the second quarter of Rye High’s 61-27 triumph over Eastchester February 27, represented the 1,000th and 1,001st points of Latkany’s Garnet career.
The win gave the Garnets a perfect 6-0 mark for the season, but Latkany and her teammates aren’t taking anything for granted in a season that almost didn’t happen.
“It’s certainly a huge milestone. I’m really just happy that it did happen,” Latkany said following the game. “We’re taking it one game at a time, and I’ve heard of games that are cancelled because of quarantine… That hasn’t happened to us, so I’m grateful for that.”
Because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Latkany’s parents waited outside the gym, unable to actually see their daughter toss in the layup that would add her name to the banner hanging on the south wall of the gym, listing all of Rye’s 1,000-point scorers. Athletic Director Susan Dullea quickly ushered them in from the lobby for photos in front of Latkany’s teammates, staff, the JV players, a reporter, a photographer, and nearly 100 cardboard cutouts of fans.
Mara Ball led the Garnets with 10 points.. while Latkany finished the game with nine. Rye held Eastchester to just eight points in the first half.
Both on and off the court, Latkany is a leader. She sends out a google form each game day, reminding teammates to make sure they have their uniform, their shoes, their hair ties.
“She’s the epitome of a captain, a leader, and on the court, she draws all sorts of defense,” said head coach Margo Hackett. “She’s a phenomenal kid. She’s something special. As a coach, I’m lucky to have had two years with her.”
“I know that some people aren’t able to play right now, whether it’s because of their own circumstances or their family circumstances don’t allow them to,” Latkany, said, measuring her words. “I know that I’ve really emphasized to this team that this is a blessing, and that every moment that we spend on the court, we should take it in, because it could end at any second.”
“The girls wanted any sort of season, so this has been phenomenal,” said Hackett. “It’s not been easy, playing every day and not practicing, but it’s been fun.”
Without Sectional and State Playoff, the Garnets have charted some different goals for this year.
“We’d love to go undefeated, that’s definitely a goal that we were hoping for,” Latkany, who will play college basketball at Brown University, said. “We want to have fun, that’s a huge one, and we want to play every game like it’s our last.”