Thanks to an Herculean effort from senior Alexandra Osborn-Jones, the third-seeded Rye Country Day girls’ basketball team ousted No. 6 Holy Child from the quarterfinals of the Fairchester Athletic Association Tournament 47-22 at home February 22.
The Yale-bound captain scored 18 points in the contest’s first eight minutes, pushing her Wildcats to an early 19-4 lead in front of a packed house for the rivalry game. Osborn-Jones finished with an astounding stat line of 30 points, 19 rebounds, eight blocks and three steals.
“I had no idea that I had that many points so fast, nor was I expecting to score that much in the game,” said Osborn-Jones. “I figured I had maybe 15 or 16 points, and it wasn’t until coach told me I had 30 that I knew. I didn’t feel the need to raise my game necessarily, I just knew I – along with the rest of the team – needed to give it my all in order to win. Having that many people in the stands gave me an adrenaline rush, and I guess I can use that to explain my individual success in the first half.”
Rye Country Day cooled off after the hot start, and a 12-2 run pulled the Gryphons (10-12) within 21-16 at halftime. Making matters worse for the Wildcats was what looked to be a serious left shoulder injury for sharp-shooting freshman point guard Carolyn Binder in the final seconds. Binder was on the court for the start of the second half, however, and eased any fears by unleashing a rainbow 3-pointer on Rye Country Day’s first possession.
“I felt a pop in my shoulder, but the trainer told me I could play,” said Binder. “It hurt, but I had to go back in and be there for my team. This was our game, our time, and I was not going to let anything get in the way of that. That three helped to get us going, and I was so focused on winning this game that I forgot the pain.”
The teams traded baskets in the first minute of the second half making the score 26-21, but from there it was all Rye Country Day (15-4). The Wildcats scored 19 unanswered and did not allow another Holy Child point until a free throw snapped the skein with 21.9 seconds remaining in the game.
Rye Country Day advanced to the FAA semifinals February 24, where they will face No. 2 Hamden Hall on the road.