For Rye Country Day, their 43-11 win over Millbrook on December 13 was a welcome relief after losing a grueling game, 52-48, to Dalton the night before.
By Melanie Cane
For Rye Country Day, their 43-11 win over Millbrook on December 13 was a welcome relief after losing a grueling game, 52-48, to Dalton the night before. The starting team, which is comprised of senior Co-Captains Tara Berger and Nereida Mendez and returning seniors Maria McEnroe, Jenn Howland, and Zoe Verni, owned the game from the very beginning. They played aggressively, stealing the ball, executing fast breaks, driving to the basket and dominating both the defensive and offensive rebounds. By halftime, they had a 24-3 lead over the Mustangs.
New Head Coach Scott Nails, who coaches an elite AAU travel team, rested the starters for most of the second half, giving a lot of playing time to the other experienced players, including Melanie Mandell, Maddy Cooper, Cece Payne, and Taylor Regan. He also gave a lot of court time to the three freshmen.
Sophomore Regan did a fantastic job as point guard. She controlled the pace of the game, made great decisions executing plays and passing, and was the high scorer with nine points. Coach Nails remarked that Regan plays like a four-year starter. He named Regan and Howland the stars of the game.
The coach was happy with the discipline his team exhibited throughout this game. “They committed a minimal number of fouls and moved the ball around really well.” He emphasizes moving the ball, and in this game, the team tallied 14 assists.
Berger, a five-year starter, thought the Millbrook game was a great opportunity to give the younger players experience on the court as well as to boost the team’s confidence. She identifies the team’s energy and chemistry on and off the court as the their strength and the tendency to get flustered and rush and try to force things as their weakness.
The Wildcats are currently 2-2. They are looking forward to competing in the Kingswood Oxford Tournament this weekend.