Garnets Ring in New Year with Convincing Win

The Rye girls’ basketball team showed no signs of rust January 5 after a two-week layoff, trampling visiting Fox Lane 66-51 in their first league game of the season.

Catharine Greer drives to the hoop.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, the Garnets distanced themselves in the second. Senior captains Lillian McCabe and Catharine Greer combined for 16 of Rye’s 18 points in the quarter, giving the team a 31-20 halftime lead. The Garnets blew the game open in the third stanza by outscoring the Foxes 19-7.

“It was so much fun,” said McCabe, who was impressed with the team’s energy to begin the contest. “We played together as a team and it felt awesome to have that kind of chemistry. We hope we made a statement, because we plan to make a huge impact in the league this year. Our goal is to win the title.”

Defense led to offense throughout for the Garnets. Katie Killip intercepted an inbounds pass in the second quarter and immediately put it up for two. McCabe stole an inbounds pass shortly after as well, and although she missed the lay-up, Rye’s message was loud and clear: Don’t expect to get away with mistakes against us, ever.

Lillian McCabe looks for an open teammate.

“It was a great team effort,” said head coach Mary Henwood. “Our press worked very well, creating a lot of steals and turnovers.”

In addition to their offensive efficiency and defensive prowess, the Garnets also owned the glass. Rye, now 2-2 on the season, outrebounded Fox Lane 26-10 in the second and third quarters.

Greer and McCabe played the entire game and led with 20 and 18 points respectively. They had plenty of help from fellow senior captain Jillian Chittenden, who scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Freshman Rachel Egan, inserted into the starting lineup for the first time, chipped in four points to go with seven assists, and Grace Leishman and Courtney Cypher combined for 10 points.

Jillian Chittenden led Rye with 10 rebounds.

Rye’s dominance allowed Henwood to give her bench some minutes, and everyone from Kelly O’Neill to Victoria Pacos to Catherine Livingston performed impressively.

“We didn’t miss a beat no matter which subs were in,” noted Greer. Henwood was pleased as well.

“The girls coming off the bench produced great numbers and provided us with a solid performance both on the offensive and defensive end of the court,” said the coach.

“We’re starting to define roles and showing improvement with our confidence and trust. With that developing, our team chemistry is also blossoming. It’s exciting to watch that growth. This was a great way to start our 2011.”

Rye’s next game is against Harrison at home January 19.

– Melanie Cane

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