Wildcats Fulfill Hoop Dreams in NY State Invitational Win: The Rye Country Day boys’ basketball team put an exclamation point on the end of a phenomenal season last Sunday, earning their second NYSAIS Class C title in three years, with a 59-51 win over the Packer Collegiate Pelicans at Fieldston.
By Kevin LaManna
The Rye Country Day boys’ basketball team put an exclamation point on the end of a phenomenal season last Sunday, earning their second NYSAIS Class C title in three years, with a 59-51 win over the Packer Collegiate Pelicans at Fieldston.
As a private school, Rye Country Day competes in two separate leagues: the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) and the New York State Association of Independent Schools. Although the Wildcats blazed a trail through the FAA with a win over King School (69-52),
landing them a spot in the championship; they fell in a barn burner to the #1 ranked Hamden Hall last Saturday, by a score of 64-63.
But their season was not over; their 20-8 season record won them a spot in the New York invitational tourney. They regrouped masterfully, twinning back-to-back semifinal games; first against Staten Island Academy March 1 (58-45), followed by a win over Woodmere, March 2 (73-58).
The Wildcats came out hot, took the lead in the first quarter, and never allowed the Pelicans within seven for the rest of the contest. An outstanding performance from sophomore guard Matt Staubi, who scored 24 points, as well as key leadership from 1,000 point-plus scorer Alex Gendelman and his senior classmate Jeff Grasso, helped cement the victory.
Mark Staubi shared the credit for the season and the win with his teammates, “I made a good personal effort, but there’s no way we could have won this game without everyone else.”
The sentiment was echoed by veteran Gendelman who reflected on his tenure and the progress he has witnessed in the program: “Five years ago no one seemed to know about the team. It’s great to go out with a bang.”