Garnets Win Friday Night Doubleheader
By Mitch Silver
Head Coach Margo Hackett’s Garnets took the home floor the evening of December 9 against Sleepy Hollow in the 30th Annual Rye Rotary Challenge basketball game. In the end, the Rye girls had risen to the challenge and then some, easily taking the game by a score of 46-18.
The scoring was evenly spread among the starters, with sophomore Molly Kennedy scoring nine points, ninth grader Phoebe Greto and junior Maddy Walsh netting eight, and junior Piper Tenney and ninth grader Paige Tepedino each ringing up six points for the home side. Maddy Walsh was chosen Most Valuable Player of the game, the fourth straight time a Garnet has been honored with the Rye Rotary Challenge award. The 3-0 Rye High squad next hosts Horace Greeley December 13 at 5 p.m.
Immediately after the girls left the floor, the Rye boys replaced them to face John Jay-Cross River in their home opener, sponsored by the Rye Lions Club. The visiting Wolves got off to a 4-0 start powered by a Ben Gold three-pointer, but the home side came right back to a take a 10-6 first-quarter lead on the strength of tight defense and a three-pointer by sophomore forward Jake Kessner.
The second quarter saw two long shots by John Jay go halfway down before dropping out. Meanwhile, the Garnets — though not especially tall — controlled the boards, with senior Andrew Carroll scoring his only two points of the half on a hard-fought offensive rebound and put-back.
It was still just a four-point game when senior point guard John Atkins stole a pass and raced in for the layup, scoring two of his game of his eventual 11 points. The half ended with Rye up 24-14.
Senior Sebastian Medina had the ball at the foul line early in the third period when he put the ball on the floor and drove past his man, ending with a thundering dunk. Medina later followed with a three to help the Garnets stay in front by 10 going into the final quarter. One cause for concern: Atkins came down and hurt his ankle, having to be helped off the floor, though he came back later in the game.
The Garnets stretched their lead to 53-40 despite two long-range bombs by Wolves’ high scorers Will Seaz and Liam Lynch, who scored 18 points between them in the final eight minutes. Rye was overly aggressive on defense, fouling repeatedly and stopping the clock as the game wound down.
But they held onto their lead and closed out the game with a 61-49 win, in large part because senior guard Dalton Boisseau came to life and scored 10 points in the closing stanza after canning only a single basket earlier in the game.
Afterwards, Head Coach John Aguilar admitted his team was playing too fast down the end. “Our student body has been remarkable this season, urging us on,” he said. “I think our kids were encouraged to play a little helter-skelter because of it.”
Kessner finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds on the night for Rye. Senior Sebastian Medina added 13, with 11 rebounds and four assists. John Atkins had three steals for the home side, while Seaz and Lynch combined for 39 of the Wolves’ 49 points.
The Garnets, now 2-0, travel to Scarsdale, also 2-0, for a Tuesday night matchup at 7 p.m.