By Melanie Cane
The flu bug bit the Garnets, forcing star sophomore Teaghan Flaherty out of the lineup in their last regular season game, February 8 against league rival Pelham. A determined Rye team eked out a 33-32 win over the Pelicans to finish 7-3 in league play and runner-up in the league.
To keep Pelham at bay, the Garnets knew they had to focus on defense. Rye played with a focused intensity from the opening whistle until the final second. In the first quarter, they moved the ball around well on offense and grabbed the majority of rebounds. Amanda Latkany got good looks and drove to the basket scoring six of Rye’s 12 points (versus Pelham’s six) going into the second quarter. The Pelicans made some crucial adjustments, doubling up on Latkany and passing more. They outscored Rye 16 to 6 and took a 22-18 lead into the half.
But Rye came back out with renewed determination. Ellie Dailey became more aggressive under the boards and Margaret Mitchell kept Pelham's second highest scorer scoreless. The Garnets made some nice long passes down court, which resulted in baskets, and they switched up their plays so many players contributed.
In the final seconds of the game, the Pelicans had possession at their basket. Mitchell stole the inbound pass to seal the win. Mitchell, Niamh Carty, and Ava Greto all had six points; Latkany 13.
Coach Dennis Hurlie said, “Our defense is our constant and as long as we can rely on it, we have a chance.” He added, “It was a tremendous accomplishment for us to beat our league rival, especially without Flaherty. We are playing well right now and excited to start Sectionals.”
Their overall record of 10-5 earned them the No. 3 seed in the Section, ensuring that their first two playoff games will be at home. The first is February 16.
Amanda Latkany driving to the basket
Ava Greto calling for long pass on breakaway