As we’ve discussed here all week, it doesn’t get much bigger than tonight’s State quarterfinal ice hockey showdown between your Rye Garnets and the Queensbury Spartans. The puck drops at 8 p.m. tonight in the Playland Ice Casino, but be sure to get there early to ensure your seat. Rye is looking to get back to the Frozen Four in Utica for the first time since 2007, and will need to go through a Queensbury team they split a pair of games with early this season. For more on the game, read the earlier posts in this blog. I’m going to hand the reigns over to senior captain Taka Katsuta, who is more than ready for tonight’s duel.
“To reach this point of the season is definitely a great feeling,” said Katsuta. “Knowing that we are only one of the two teams left standing in Section 1 makes me want to win this regional game even more. Also, the rivalry we have had with Queensbury has been pretty intense and I definitely want to prove to them how much better we have improved over the course of the season. This is my last game at Playland and I definitely want to play a game that I will never regret for the rest of my life.
“I think that people should come to this game because I already know that it is going to be a close one,” he continued. “Fans from both teams are coming to the game, there will be tons of music and the rink is going to be packed. The atmosphere will be very exciting and I think that everyone will have a blast watching the game.”
There is nothing left to be said.
The sports action doesn’t stop tonight, however, as both the Rye Country Day School girls’ and boys’ basketball teams advanced to the NYSAIS State championship games Sunday at Fieldston. On Friday, the fifth-seeded girls’ — led by senior captain Alexandra Osborn-Jones’ fourth triple-double in five games — went on the road and upended top-seeded Staten Island Academy 46-39. OJ put up an obscene stat line of 14 points, 17 rebounds and 12 blocks, and will look to lead the defending champs to a second straight title. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m. at Fieldston in the Bronx.
On the boys’ side, the Wildcats will make their first NYSAIS finals appearance . The third-seeded team toppled No. 2 Riverdale Country Day 46-34 on the road yesterday. Jason Rogers had 13 points and 18 rebounds, and Darren Douglas went off for 20 points. They’ll face No. 1 Friends Seminary tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Fieldston in the championship tilt.