By MIKE SMITH
On Jan. 25, the Mamaroneck Tigers continued their grueling 2013-14 season with a home game against a Class A powerhouse from Rye. Although the Garnets would come away with a 46-43 win over the host Tigers, the game served as a testament to the strides the Tigers squad has made over the past few weeks.
As the Tigers gear up for a playoff push over the next two weeks, they will look to employ the same strategies that saw them erase an early deficit and contend with the up tempo Class A stars.
Rye’s length and athleticism cause problems for the Tigers early on, as the Alanna Morque-led Garnets finished the first quarter of play with a commanding double-digit lead. But the Tigers battled back to make a game of it, cutting down on their miscues to force their way back into the contest in the second quarter.
“My message to the girls is basically just to make it one possession at a time,” Tigers coach David Smith said. “We’re not looking at the bigger picture, just getting the stop, winning the defensive transition and taking advantage, and we were able to do that in the second quarter.”
Mamaroneck’s ability to climb back into contention highlighted the team’s tenacity, Smith said, something that has been apparent since the beginning of the season.
“From day one with this program, we’ve talked about the team not quitting,” Smith said. “You have to put your best foot forward, it’s like a life lesson. When we’re in those bad situations, you can’t give up.”
At 5-10 on the year, the Tigers can’t afford to give up now. If they win two of their last three games, the squad should have enough bonus points to find themselves in postseason contention. Given the team’s strength of schedule, just making the postseason has the potential to yield a playoff run for the Tigers.
“I think the girls are believing now,” Smith said. “Obviously, the league is tough and we’ve played teams like Irivington and Rye who are top teams in their classes, so if we can get an outbracket game, I know the girls believe that we can make a deep push in the playoffs. We just want to keep taking the small lessons from practices, from scrimmages into our tests, the games. If we can make a run, I think that would be great for this team, great for the program.”