Defense Powers Wildcats to Second-Straight State Championship

There was no getting through the Rye Country Day defense in the NYSAIS Class C championship game March 7 at Fieldston School.

Third-seeded Immaculata Academy could have been driving an 18-wheeler down the lane and it wouldn’t have made a dent in the Wildcats’ D as they won wire-to-wire, 38-22. The State title win was the second in as many years for fifth-seeded Rye Country Day.

The champs!

“We made a couple of long trips in this tournament, and the girls felt that they did not come down here to lose today,” said head coach Bob TeCarr. “The kids are thrilled. They played with so much heart.”

In her swan song for the girls’ basketball program, Alexandra Osborn-Jones recorded her fifth triple-double in six games with an obscene 18 points, 12 rebounds and 13 blocks.

“She and I are going to do some crying at the team dinner, that’s for sure,” said TeCarr, who has been the senior captain’s coach throughout her four years as a starter at RCDS. “In the last five or six games she has really come on. Not that she didn’t play hard in the past, but you could see how badly she wanted it on the court.”

OJ rejects a shot with authority

Osborn-Jones, who’s usually the best player any time she sets foot in a gym, showed her mastery on both ends in the title bout. When they had the ball, Immaculata must have felt they were battling a six-foot octopus at center. The Yale-bound star’s hand control is the key, a fact in evidence not only in her total of swats, but in deflections, and the way she was able to trap opposing players. On offense, Osborn-Jones can score from anywhere. Each year her range has expanded – she nailed a searing 3-point dagger in the third quarter against Immaculata – and it would be no surprise if she showed up at Yale with an accurate half-court shot.

Junior Stephanie Binder scored 11 points for the Wildcats, including a downtown three to open the game, and Rye Country Day never looked back. Binder’s younger sister, Carolyn, helped drive RCDS to victory from the point. The freshman started for the team last year as an 8th grader, and figures to be a big part of the future with her sister and junior Kim McKoy.

Stephanie Binder

Bridget Stock, a senior, showed hustle and grit in diving to keep possessions alive for the Wildcats, scoring on a pretty feed from the younger Binder near the game’s end. Stock received the pass underneath, used a step fake, and laid the ball up and in while being fouled, to the delight of teammates and fans. Along with her twin sister, Hilary, the Stocks are among a graduating senior class – Osborn-Jones, Justine Anderson, Delaine Powerful, and Katie Sandling – that will be sorely missed.

“It would have been nice to win the FAA as well, but going out with a State championship is great,” said Osborn-Jones. “Defense has always been our strongest attribute, and it’s what won the game today.”

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