By MIKE SMITH
On Dec. 16, New Rochelle and Mamaroneck took the court for a hotly anticipated early-season league matchup. Though the Huguenots had a few stumbles along the way, they were able to use their athleticism and a good transition game to down the Tigers, beating Mamaroneck 71-48. As the two squads gear up for a tough League II-B schedule this winter, this first win should be a boost for an undefeated New Ro squad.
The Huguenots improve to 4-0 with the win, although the Tigers–coming off a tough loss to Irvington‑did their best to stay in the ball game.
“It’s like I always say, it doesn’t matter what the records are coming in when it’s league game,” New Rochelle coach Bruce Daniele said. “Especially at their place, the coaches all know your team real well and I think we were kind of apprehensive going against them.”
Aisha White-Silas led the Huguenots with 18 points off the bench, as New Rochelle was able to outgun the Tigers. Although Daniele was pleased with the win, he said there was still room for improvement, especially when the Huguenots tried to run their half-court sets.
“We were a little sloppy and [Mamaroneck] was able to climb back into it,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of problems with the set offense so far, but we’re only four games in, so hopefully we can correct that.”
With a number of starters back from last year’s Class AA semifinal squad, including Sydney Pinn and point guard Amirror Dixon, the Huguenots have gotten off to a hot start, pushing the tempo and wearing down their opponents.
“We definitely use our athleticism and we’ve been free-lancing,” Daniele said. “I don’t think they’re being selfish but, if we come together and pass better, we’re going to be tough because I think our defense has been very
In addition to a tough league schedule that sees the Huguenots play teams like Scarsdale, Mamaroneck and Mount Vernon, New Rochelle also has some tough, non-league games on the docket, including potential matchups with Lordes–who beat the Huguenots in last year’s sectional semifinals‑Peekskill and Kennedy, who will visit New Rochelle on Dec. 21.
As long as the Huguenots can get into an offensive rhythm and continue to work the glass, Daniele said, New Rochelle could find itself with yet another trip to the County Center this February.
“[The tough schedule] will hopefully get us ready for sectionals,” the coach said. “Our motto is always ‘County Center or bust’ and, if we can take care of those two things, the sky’s the limit.”