Archive for January, 2011

Pro Squash Tour Brings Local Pros and International Stars to the Area

January 28, 2011

The first major tournament of the 2011 Pro Squash Tour, the Westchester Open, will draw top competition to Westchester clubs from January 31 to February 4. Fifteen players representing nine countries will include international champions, many local favorites, and a 14-year-old junior with a No. 1 U.S. ranking who will take on the pros.

Raj Nanda, left, faced Bernardo Samper, right, at last year’s inaugural Pro Squash Tour event. Both will once again seek a title at the upcoming Westchester Open next week.



Perfect Record Blemished, But Gryphons Keep Smiling

January 28, 2011

Even after suffering a 101-69 defeat to undefeated Convent of the Sacred Heart January 25 at SUNY Purchase, the Holy Child swim team’s sunny disposition remained.

There’s a good reason for that, as the Gryphons are proud of what they accomplished in the pool this season. Holy Child finished the year 5-1 and qualified for several postseason meets.

“The team unity and spirit here is incredible,” said head coach Kerby Lewis. “The girls are always on the side of the pool cheering their teammates as loudly as possible. We had an inkling we would be this successful because of the roster size, but we wouldn’t be here without the hard work and daily improvement.”

Maddy Simone

Freshman Maddy Simone has been a top swimmer for Holy Child all year, and proved her mettle against CSH with a win in the 500-meter freestyle. She was the favorite in the 200-meter freestyle as well, but was disqualified for a false start. Lewis believes Simone has much room for improvement, and could be a dominant swimmer by her senior year.


Rye Squash Team Celebrates Success at Yale

January 28, 2011

Back row, left to right: Garrett Esler, Karim Amir, Connor Usry, Thornton Ellis, and Spencer Smith; bottom row: Henry Pearson, Thomas Henderson, Colby Ellis, James Reid, and Grant DeBease; not pictured: Forrest Henderson and Geoffrey Douglas

The Rye boys’ squash team won the Fairwest Public School Squash jamboree January 16 at Yale, with the A, B, and C squads securing 50 total victories in 58 matches. The event drew high school teams from Darien, Fairfield, New Canaan and Madison.

In its inaugural varsity season, Rye squash has competed against a variety of teams from public and private schools and inner-city programs, such as Street Squash in Harlem. Next up is the highly competitive U.S. High School Team Championships beginning February 11 at four venues – Yale, Rosemary Hall, Wesleyan, and Trinity College. The Garnets reached the finals of the A Division the last two seasons.

Garnets Must Ace Chemistry Test to Change Season’s Direction

January 28, 2011

Critics were quick to assail the Miami Heat and their star-studded roster when the franchise stumbled out of the gate to a 9-8 record this season. Although most understood it would take time for Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh to gel, barbs were nevertheless launched in South Beach’s direction.

The Heat promptly won 21 of their next 22 games.


Garnets Respond to Pelham Loss with Five-Game Unbeaten Streak

January 28, 2011

Rye’s hockey team did not start 2011 the way they would have liked. Leading Pelham 2-1 with nine minutes to go at home January 5, the Garnets relinquished the lead and then the contest when the Pelicans swooped in for the game-winner late in the final period. The tilt had all the intensity of the rivals’ Section championship clashes from 2008 and 2009, and even concluded with a rowdy on-ice celebration.

Instead of going into a slump after that disappointing loss, Rye has responded in a fashion typical of the Jason Friesen era. The Garnets have posted a 4-0-1 record in their last five games, and now seem to be playing their best hockey of the season.

Cal Hynson and Chris Lipari

“The Pelham loss was definitely tough for all of us,” said senior captain Tommy Sullivan. “Everyone played with a lot of heart, but unfortunately we couldn’t come out with the win. We definitely learned from it, and are now playing with a chip on our shoulders that will help to fuel us in the future.”


Wildcats Live Out Their Wildest Dreams on the Garden Floor

January 24, 2011

Just minutes after the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns tangled in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee, the Rye Country Day girls’ basketball team stepped onto the hallowed hardwood of Madison Square Garden for a contest with Masters.

Soaking up the MSG experience.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Wildcats, who were more than up for the challenge of playing at the World’s Most Famous Arena. Behind 18 points from sophomore captain Carolyn Binder, Rye Country Day rolled to a 48-33 victory.


Mike Duignan has 100 Reasons to Smile

January 21, 2011

Mike Duignan could not figure out why his basketball team seemed nervous it its game with King January 19 in Stamford. It wasn’t until after Holy Child’s 43-37 overtime victory that the girls let their head coach in on a little secret.

The Gryphons weren’t just playing to win the game. They were fighting to reach a milestone in Duignan’s Holy Child career: his 100th victory.


Garnets Press Harrison Out of the Gym in Easy Victory

January 21, 2011

Nearly a year had passed since their previous meeting, but the memory remained fresh in the memory of the Rye girls’ basketball team. After losing on a last-second shot to Harrison last February, the Garnets intended on serving up a cold dish of revenge at home January 19.

Freshman Rachel Egan had 14 assists in the win.

Rye did just that, muzzling the Huskies from the get-go and eventually emerging 74-55 winners over their rivals.


Garnets, Like Knicks, Benefitting from Mike D’Antoni’s Touch

January 12, 2011

It was a very ordinary evening in the Twyman house. Basketball was on the television, and father and sons were tuned in to the hard-court drama.

The rejuvenated Knickerbockers were running yet another team off the court with their scintillating brand of speedball, and Walt “Clyde” Frazier was likely praising New York for their “omnipotence” in “swooping and hooping” to a victory. The Twyman brothers, however, were instead focused on the mechanisms of the game. Chris and Max pointed out to their father, Jay, that – yes, indeed – the Knicks were running the same offense as the team they play for, the Rye Garnets.

There’s nothing surprising about a high school team cribbing a professional one’s plays, but there is one very unordinary reason for the stylistic similarities between the teams. Mike D’Antoni, the Knicks’ head coach, isn’t just the architect of New York’s breakneck offense. The coach, a Rye resident, has taught portions of his renowned offensive playbook to the home team in person.

D’Antoni’s son, Mike Jr., is a sophomore who plays for the Garnets and the reason the former NBA Coach of the Year has made himself available to the varsity team. From running offseason pickup games at Rye Recreation to teaching professional drills at the Carver Center and attending practices, the West Virginia native is keen on sharing his basketball acumen.


Swimming Standouts Lead Rye to Victory Over Mamaroneck

January 12, 2011

Paced by four first place finishes from seniors Kevin Hughes and Chris Lyons, the Rye boys’ swimming and diving team defeated Boston Post Road rival Mamaroneck 92-81 January 10 at Hommocks Middle School.

Kevin Hughes

Hughes won both the 500- and 200-meter freestyle events for the Garnets, while Lyons touched out all comers in the 200-meter IM and 100-meter butterfly event. Kevin Miller impressed Chris Dewey, Rye’s first-year head coach, with a second place finish to Lyons in the 100 butterfly.