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.