Garnets Optimistic After Close Loss to New Rochelle

The Rye girls’ basketball team slugged it out with Class AA power New Rochelle January 29 at home, but left the court on the short end of a 37-35 loss.

In a stunning last two minutes, Rye’s head coach Mary Henwood tried to call a time out with the score tied 35-35, but was ignored by the refs. A second later, as Rye was inbounding, the refs let New Rochelle call time. Coach Henwood argued that it’s against the rules for a team not in possession to call a TO. The beef led to New Rochelle shooting two techincals, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Karly Fitzgerald

The Garnets were nonetheless thrilled with their play, executing the game plan to near perfection. “We trusted each other on defense and pressured New Rochelle so much that we took them out of their offense,” said coach Henwood. “We limited their points to well below their average and executed our press breaker so well that they had to take off their 2-2-1 press. We also held them to just two 3-point shots, which is great because they are a team that thrives on them.”

Henwood went on to say that even though it was a disappointing loss – Rye led by three at halftime and was tied 35-35 with 2 minutes to go – the most important thing was that the players stepped up, handled the pressure and played with confidence.

“That was a huge step forward as we gear up for playoffs,” she commented. “We believed and trusted our teammates – a sign of a great team!”

Lillian McCabe

Catharine Greer controlled the pace of the game and recorded a tough double-double with 10 assists and 11 steals. Lillian McCabe led the scoring with 19 points, nine of which came from downtown, and senior captain Karly Fitzgerald had eight points on 4-6 shooting from the field. Jillian Chittenden snared 10 rebounds, Grace Leishman contributed six points and Katie Killip swished a pair of big baskets from the foul line.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game, but we went into it with confidence and determination to win,” said Fitzgerald. “It was visible in the way we played, fighting for rebounds, steals, assists, and baskets. We never let down. We played our best against an elite team and will only continue to get better.”

Rye is now 9-5 with two games left on the regular season schedule. The team will learn their Section playoff seed February 10, and will then prepare for the postseason.

“If we continue to play like this, we can make a strong run in the playoffs,” Fitzgerald said. “Our goal is to make it to the County Center.”

– Melanie Cane

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