By Mitch Silver
Has any Rye team, in any game, in any year, shot as well the Garnets did against visiting Pelham Friday night? The history books say no. Head Coach John Aguilar’s squad made 14 three-point shots on the evening, including the first two they attempted, on the way to a 29-point victory over the outgunned Pelicans.
After the game, Coach Aguilar credited his team’s defense for the win. But the Pelham coach, on the way out of the building, said, “They hit those first two 3s, and I knew we were in for a rough game.”
In the first quarter alone, Rye sophomores Jake Kessner and Andrew Wilmarth scored from beyond the arc, as did seniors Sebastian Medina and John Atkins — Atkins hitting from long range twice — to send the locals out in front 19-14.
The second quarter was more of the same, as Kessner and Medina connected again, along with sophomore Rocklan Boisseau. That made it eight long bombs for the half, leading to a 40-20 Rye lead. The home side hit only five conventional two-pointers in the first 16 minutes to the Pelicans’ seven.
To give Coach Aguilar his due, the Garnets’ D held their opponents to six points in the quarter, shutting out Pelham’s high scorer Charlie Schellhammer, who would wind up with 17 points.
It wasn’t surprising that Rye was in front. The 11-3 Garnets came into the game having beaten Hen Hud, their one mutual opponent, by six, while the 7-7 Pelicans lost to the Sailors by 18. But even the biggest Garnet fan didn’t expect the three-point barrage to keep up all game. Kessner drained two more 3s in the third quarter, while Medina and senior classmate Andrew Carroll also connected to push Rye farther ahead at the end of three, 58-34.
The final period saw Medina hit his fourth three-pointer of the night, one in every quarter. Rocklan Boisseau’s older brother Dalton also hit a basket from outside the arc, making it seven Garnets who accomplished the feat.
After the game, Coach Aguilar was surprised to hear how many 3s his team made. “We’ve been shooting better in practice, but this is easily the best we’ve done in a game.” He was already looking ahead. “Next week is our toughest of the season. We host 10-2 Somers on Tuesday and our traditional rival, Byram Hills, who are 8 and 4, on Friday.”
Let’s hope the Garnets retain their shooting touch.