By Mitch Silver

Knute Rockne would be proud. Shawn Lincoln, the veteran coach who’s returned to helm the Lady Panthers in 2017, followed his team off the floor at halftime of their home game against Solomon Schechter December 7, passing directly under the scoreboard that showed the game was tied at 10-all. While dominating the boards in the first two periods, the Rye Neck girls missed shot after shot, many of them easy tap-ins.

Whatever Coach Lincoln said during the break, his group returned to the floor a completely different team. This one could shoot, and they reeled off 12 uncontested points in the first five minutes of the third period.

That 22-10 lead became a 33-17 final. So, what magic did the bossman impart to his players?

“I wish I could say it was fire-and-brimstone halftime talk that has allowed us to play the way we have in the second half of games,” Coach Lincoln said afterwards. “But the truth is, we made a couple of minor adjustments. The players simply came out focused and determined to execute the game plan. I couldn't be more proud of the girls to this point in the season with their chemistry and the way they have responded to each challenge.”

A day later, the Panthers met the host team in the Hamilton Tournament in Elmsford. It was an intense game from start to finish. Like the Schechter get-together, it was tied at halftime. And it was all knotted after three.

With just six seconds left in a tied game, the Panthers’ wide-open corner shot rimmed out. However, sophomore Morgan Parker crashed the weak-side boards and scored on a put-back with two second to go for the winner.

The title game against Croton-Harmon was postponed due to snow, and will be played at a later date. Rye Neck took on Hastings post-press time, and then will be off on a well-earned rest until 2018.

Juniors Charlotte Murphy (2) and Elle Katsaros (24) look to cut off the pass.



By Mitch Silver

The great thing about a Rye High versus Rye Country Day wrestling match is, the two rivals leave everything on the mat. The not-so-great-thing? Neither team has a roster big enough to be able to put a wrestler out on that mat in every weight class.

So, even though the scoreboard read Rye Country Day 60, Rye High 30 at the end of the afternoon of December 13, there were only five competitive bouts. Wildcat co-captains Max Mandell (152 pounds) and Pierce Kim (160 pounds) both pinned their Garnet foes — Dylan Webb and Jason Rosenfield — in matchups that could have gone either way.

At 170 pounds, Chase Bekkerus was the lone Garnet winner, beating Brooks Sleeper in a fall at 3:10 of the match. William Dunn (182) and Charlie Moysak (285) pinned the Alexes — Leishman and Mocha — to round out the official scoring.

Every weight classification from 99 to 145 pounds ended in a forfeit. Rye’s Hallie Rosenfield, Audrey Miller, and Bebe Deen and the visitors’ Ruben Gomez, Will Cutler, William Shabecoff, Will Waddell, and Robbie Fox all had their hands raised in triumph without shedding a single drop of sweat. Rye’s talented junior Tyler Webb (195) and the Wildcats’ returning NYSAIS champ at 220 pounds, Richard Antoine, also won by forfeit. They and some of the other forfeit winners appeared in exhibition matches to round off the afternoon.

The Garnets, under first-year Head Coach Joel Jensen, wrestled at the Woodlands Duals 72 hours later. Dealing with some of the same lineup holes that doomed them against Rye Country Day, Rye lost to Somers, 48-30, and Sleepy Hollow, 51-36.

The Wildcats, under 30-year veteran coach Rich Knazik, fared better by far. They had started the season by beating Lexington School for the Deaf, 64-6, and taking the measure of Horace Mann by 48-42 and Martin Luther High of Queens, 52-21. Three days after the Rye match, they won the Trinity School meet by beating both Bayard Rustin, 48-30, and Lexington, in a rematch, 42-18.

The Garnets traveled to their other major rival, Harrison High, post-press time. Both squads are now off for the holiday break until 2018.

 Rye’s Dylan Webb appears close to pinning Wildcat co-captain Max Mandell.


By Mitch Silver

Behind the sharpshooting of junior swingman Billy O’Meara, who scored 22 points in just one half of the matchup against Berkeley Carroll of Brooklyn, Rye Country Day improved its December record with an easy 71-41 victory.

Brett Robinson added 12, Allan Houston chipped in eight (also in just half a game), while Cullen Coleman and Sam Berger combined for nine points, ten boards, and six blocks down low. The win continued an upswing for third-year Head Coach Steve Gage’s men after dropping an early 63-52 decision to “bigger, faster, stronger” Fieldston on the road and a 69-63 defeat at the hands of FAA rival Hamden Hall.

Wins over Friends Seminary, the King School, and JFK High School — the latter by a lopsided 72-37 score — suggest that the youngish Wildcats are beginning to come into their own. They’ve cut down their turnovers (25 against Fieldston were reduced to just nine against Friends) and picked up their finishing — Allan Houston canned 17 points against King, all of them in the first half, and Jason Schnall had 11 in the fourth quarter alone in the loss to Hamden Hall.

Speaking of Hamden Hall, Assistant Coach Jordan Griffith summed up the game this way: “Hamden is the best team we’ve seen so far. They were bigger, better, and more athletic then the other teams we played...and we can hang with them for sure. Most games will come down to our ability to do what we do. Hamden took us out of that at times. But we will be ready for them next time.”

That rematch won’t be for another six weeks. In the meantime, the Wildcats are on their holiday break sitting on the good side of .500. They resume play January 4 against St. Luke’s.

Co-captain Allan Houston finds himself between two Hamden Hall redwoods.

By Melanie Cane

The December 13 matchup between Rye High and Byram Hills began inauspiciously for the home team, with the Bobcats scoring a minute and a half into the game. But after the goal, Rye regrouped and dominated, getting off ten shots to the Bobcats’ two. The Garnets’ offense finally paid off when Will Chader scored off a J.T. Howard rebound with three minutes left in the period.

The second period began with the score knotted 1-1. Byram Hills took a two-goal lead with successive goals at 8:28 and 8:16. Rye’s Alex Noga scored on a power play off a feed from Seamus Carroll at the five-minute mark. But the Bobcats netted another one to end the period up 4-2.

Early in the third, Byram Hills extended their lead to three. The Garnets chipped away at the lead with two successive goals. Liam Hurley roofed it past the goalie from the slot and then Cam DiEdwards found the net from in front on the power play with 5:30 left to play. The Bobcats scored two more before Hurley tipped it in on a six-on-five for the last goal of the game.

Despite the 7-5 loss, Garnets Coach Peter Thomas thought his team played extremely well. “We dominated Byram Hills throughout the game and outshot them by a 2-1 margin. These are very positive signs for our team. We just need to do a better job of keeping the puck out of our net.”

The Garnets played in a weekend tournament at SUNY Plattsburgh December 16-17. They lost their first game to New Canaan Country School and beat Beekmantown High the following day. The team is currently 3-5.


Jason Luci and Jack Lynch look on as Max Kahle tries to get past the Byram Hills goalie.

Declan Lavelle trying for the steal.

Alex Noga transitioning the puck.

Max Kahle moving toward goal.




Holy Child recently celebrated two student-athletes, Caroline McGee and Alexa Lantin. McGee has signed a National Letter of Intent to row for the University of Michigan, and Alexa Lantin will swim for Boston College.

Director of College Counseling JB Broda said, “Alexa and Caroline excelled by being positive, patient, persistent, and never giving up. We are so proud of them and their accomplishments.”

McGee, a varsity rower for City Island Rowing, had only been rowing for 15 months, but knew right away this was a pursuit she wanted to continue in college. I have been very fortunate to have excellent coaching and great teammates who have taught me a lot in a very short amount of time. Having the opportunity to be a student-athlete at the University of Michigan is a dream come true.”

She has medaled eighteen times at regattas. She and her doubles partner won States and qualified for Nationals, finishing seventh in the country. They also competed at Worlds Trials and won the bronze medal at Royal Canadian Henley as the fastest American boat ahead of over 80 other U.S. entries. Most recently, she and her teammates finished sixth at Head of the Charles in a four.

In addition swimming for Holy Child, Alexa Lantin has competed with Badger Swim Club, mostly in distance events, including the 1000 freestyle, the mile, and breaststroke. Among her many achievements, she qualified for the Futures Championships, where she was a finalist in the 200M and 100M breaststroke, and the NCSA Junior Nationals. She placed first in the 200M breaststroke at the Connecticut Senior Invite, she was a finalist in the 400M individual medley at the Arena Grand Prix in Indianapolis, and in the 200 Y breaststroke at the Speedo Sectionals Championship in Ithaca, N.Y.

About her choice to pursue swimming at Boston College, Lantin said, “I felt right at home the minute I set foot on campus. The more time that I spent with its amazing coaching staff and the entire team, the more I realized that I will be a part of a special family over the next four years.”

At left, Caroline McGee with her parents Joe and Carey McGee, and Alexa Lantin with her mother Teresa Lantin



By Melanie Cane

What a difference a year makes. Last year, Rye Country Day School’s team won the Rye Rotary Girls’ Basketball Tournament and Wildcat Alana Jones was tournament MVP. This year, on December 16, they lost to Greenwich High School 50-43 in the first round of the tournament.

The Wildcats struggled in the first quarter. Although they shared equal possessions and opportunities with the Cardinals, their shots were not dropping. At the buzzer, Tatiana Hernandez hit a 3-point shot from midcourt to make it 16-9.

Rye Country Day came back in the second quarter. Adjusting to the Cardinal’s 2-3 zone defense, they applied a press, and waited for better shots. They outscored Greenwich 15-6 to end the half with a 25-21 lead.

In the third quarter, the Cardinals double-teamed Jones, which caused Rye Country Day to rush their passes. Consequently, the Cardinals scored ten points off fast breaks, taking a 36-33 lead into the fourth quarter.

The final quarter was replete with fouls by both teams. Jones fouled out with a couple of minutes left in the game. Ultimately, the difference in the game came down to free throws. The Wildcats sank two out of 11, while the Cardinals shot six for 12 in the quarter.

Coach Charles Ogbana was disappointed. “We never executed against their zone and we only made eight of 25 free throws.” He continued, “The other teams know about Jones, so it is imperative that our post players and third guard step up to the plate when she is tied up. They failed to do that.” He went on to praise freshmen Katherine Byrdson and Annie Cooper for their decision-making.


Alana Jones racing down court on fast break.

Annie Cooper trips but holds onto the ball.

Katherine Byrdson goes up for rebound.