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-A 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 Prinn 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 good.”
Both the Huguenots and Tigers will compete in the tough League II-B against other strong squads including Scarsdale and Mount Vernon. The Tigers take on the Knights on Dec. 18, after press time, and will look to get back on track with a home stand to kick-off 2014. In its first three games of the New Year, Mamaroneck will host Sleepy Hollow, Ursuline and White Plains before traveling to Scarsdale to take on the Raiders on Jan. 14.
Mamaroneck and the Hugue-nots will square-off again on Jan. 22, when the Tigers travel to New Rochelle.