An undefeated record and a milestone victory are just two results of the Rye girls’ basketball team’s blazing hot start to the winter season.
The 4-0 Garnets captured the Dr. Lynne Kahn Holiday Classic championship December 12 in White Plains, by defeating the host Tigers 48-45 in the final. With the win, Rye head coach Mary Henwood attained her 300th career coaching victory.
“It is an honor to share this milestone with this team,” said Henwood, who gushed about the pride her Garnets have for the program. “They are a pleasure to coach and a very special, talented group of young ladies. I have been fortunate to coach so many high-achieving girls throughout my career who have contributed greatly to my success.”
Junior starting forward Catharine Greer topped the box score with 22 points and was awarded MVP honors. Twelve of her points came from behind the arc – with three treys in the first half alone – and she was perfect at the charity stripe, sinking all four shots. The junior was a menace all over the court – driving to the hoop, draining long-range jumpers, and locking down the Tigers with impenetrable defense. Junior starting center Lillian McCabe won the MVP runner-up. She scored 11 in the championship, and led the Garnets in the opening round of the tournament against Ramapo with 23 points. Greer contributed 16 in that game.
“It was a great win for our girls and our program,” said Henwood. “They played hard and battled for four solid quarters. The girls played with discipline and kept their composure when the game was tied – a sign of a great team!”
Junior Jillian Chittenden, sophomore Grace Leishman, and senior captain Karly FitzGerald played excellent defense and were a presence on the boards. In addition, when the opposition makes the choice to double either Greer or McCabe, it leaves a variety of highly competent players open under the basket. On the other hand, if they don’t protect themselves against both Greer or McCabe … It all adds up to Rye’s wildly successful run thus far.
“When we defeated Pelham pretty easily in the season opener I think we surprised ourselves,” said Greer. “And when we totally dominated Harrison (68-30) we started to believe. After beating the very tough and physical Ramapo team by 28, we knew we just might have something special this year.”
Rye’s victory over a tough Tigers team sealed it.
“The White Plains game felt like a playoff game for us, and to win the 300th game for coach Henwood made it very special,” continued Greer. “Even though I was awarded MVP, the entire team deserves it. They just kept on fighting to the last second.”
– Melanie Cane