By MIKE SMITH
On Jan. 12, the Rye Garnets hosted to Harrison for the first leg of a Monday/Friday double-booking with the rival Huskies. Despite the anticipation, however, Rye walked away with an easy win, taking the first game of the season series with a 60-36 win over the Huskies.
Rye seemed unstoppable when it got into a rhythm against the Huskies, as Maddie Eck led the way for the Garnets, scoring a game-high 21 points in the win.
The Garnets improve to 7-2 with the victory and their keys to success have been simple as they use their height and their quickness to harass opposing ball-handlers and crash the boards.
“They are long and athletic and that definitely bothered us,” Harrison coach Louis Kail said. “I really just don’t think we played particularly well.”
Playing their signature, up-tempo game, the Garnets jumped out to a double-digit first quarter lead against Harrison, but the Huskies were able to right the ship somewhat in the second quarter by collecting a few rebounds of their own and putting together a run that saw them close the gap to six points. In the end, though, it was Rye’s dominance on the glass that proved the difference-maker in the ball game.
“The biggest issue we had was rebounding the basketball, but during that run we rebounded a little bit better,” the Harrison coach said. “At halftime, they had 14 offensive rebounds. We had six total. That was a major factor.”
Although Eck was the point-leader in the Monday contest, the Garnets have gotten scoring from all of their starters over the course of the year. A mix of solid outside shooting and quick points off turnover have paved the road to success for Rye, although the second half of the season will be a test as they get set to do battle with some tough league opponents.
The Garnets are set take on two of Section I’s top teams, as they take on an undefeated Irvington squad on Jan. 19 and travel to Ossining–the section’s consensus top squad–for the season finale on Feb. 15.
Most immediately, the Garnets are getting set for a Friday rematch with Harrison, one that Huskies coach Louis Kail has a different outcome as his squad gets ready for a difficult stretch of the season too.
“We’ve got Rye and then a couple of very good teams,” Kail said. “Obviously, we have some work to do on Wednesday and Thursday.”