Rye edges Tigers

Amanda Bayer tries to drive the lane against Rye on Jan. 25. The Tigers climbed out of an early hole to challenge the Garnets down the stretch.

Amanda Bayer tries to drive the lane against Rye on Jan. 25. The Tigers climbed out of an early hole to challenge the Garnets down the stretch.

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.

Teresa Fabrizi goes up for a rebound against the Garnets. According to head coach David Smith, the Tigers are a group that has shown fight all season long. Photos/Mike Smith

Teresa Fabrizi goes up for a rebound against the Garnets. According to head coach David Smith, the Tigers are a group that has shown fight all season long. Photos/Mike Smith

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.”

Jess Degina breezes past Rye’s Maddy Eck on Jan. 25. At 5-10 on the season, the Tigers’ playoff hopes remain alive.

Jess Degina breezes past Rye’s Maddy Eck on Jan. 25. At 5-10 on the season, the Tigers’ playoff hopes remain alive.

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.

Kathleen Whittemore drives to the hoop on Jan. 25.

Kathleen Whittemore drives to the hoop on Jan. 25.

“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.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.