A year ago, the Rye Country Day Girls Basketball team just gave the ball to Carolyn Binder. Then, the all-Fairchester Athletic Association star would put it in the basket.
By Mitch Silver
A year ago, the Rye Country Day Girls Basketball team just gave the ball to Carolyn Binder. Then, the all-Fairchester Athletic Association star would put it in the basket. Last spring she took her game, and her scoring, to Columbia University, and, despite the fact that the defending FAA champs have eight returning players, it’s taken a while for the team she left behind to coalesce.
The girls came together Saturday — did they ever! — in their best performance of the young season. Admittedly it came against winless Hopkins Grammar, but still, a win is a win. And a big win is a big win, especially after dropping their previous contest 51-37 to Hackley. Despite the absence of starter Nery Mendez, who was out with an ankle sprain, the Wildcats sprang a 3-2 press that utilized two freshmen at guard to disrupt Hopkins’ plays and take home a 57-27 victory.
“We like to run,” Coach Margaret Scarcella said after the game. “We want to clean up the boards with our big people, look up and get going.” And so they did, with junior co-Captain Tara Berger all but putting away Hopkins by herself up front, netting 16 in a big first half.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 16-3 lead before giving seven points back on some less-than-stellar defense. They regrouped before halftime and led 24-12 going into the locker room.
The second half was all Rye. After ten minutes, the Wildcats were up 37-18; it mounted to 51-22 with four minutes left. Jen Howland contributed five buckets, Maddy Cooper added seven points, and everyone had a bushel of boards, steals, and assists to pump up their stat lines.
Assistant Coach Jenny Smith was philosophical afterwards. “We started the season slow because the girls were still looking for Carolyn. But we’re 6-5 now because we’re learning to play as a team.”