Brewster Handles Yorktown; Westlake Clips P’Ville, Briarcliff

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By Tony Pinciaro

The BREWSTER varsity girls’ basketball team is proving its fine play is a result of quality and not so much quantity.

Brewster’s Bri Franklin snatches rebound from pack of Huskers in Bears’ 55-44 win over visiting Yorktown Thursday.

The Bears, with only nine players on the team, defeated Yorktown (55-45) and Sleepy Hollow (50-22), last week, raising their record to 8-2 this season.

Brewster is playing at a high level, led by senior captains Jordan Niles and Brianna Franklin.

In fact, even though the number of players is a single digit, Niles was optimistic coming into the season.

“We built a connection from last year,” said Niles, a three-year varsity player. “With that connection, we felt we would not have a problem gelling on the court.”

Following preseason, in which Brewster focused on conditioning because of a small roster, Niles and her teammates were psyched.

“I knew we were going to be a really young team, but I was  feeling pretty confident because I did play in the summer and the spring with or against my teammates. We were all staying active working on our skills.

“I think just seeing how underrated and overlooked we were as a team because of our small numbers, we were going to hustle and prove ourselves.”

Brewster established itself in December, winning six of its first seven games. The only blemish came against Class AAA John Jay-East Fishkill. However, Brewster opened 2024 with a surprising loss to league-foe Somers as Niles and Franklin were in foul trouble.

“I think that’s what we needed to back into ourselves and fix what needed to be fixed,” Nile said.

The Bears rebounded with a league win against a tough Yorktown team as Olivia Francis poured in a game-high 128 points.

“Olivia had a great shooting game and she played out of her mind,” Niles said. “I’m so proud of her.

Despite the all-out efforts of Croton’s Lucia Thoreson, Ossining senior G Zoey Jowers went off for a career-high 29 points (7 3’s) in visiting Pride’s 69-45 win over Tigers.

“What pleased me the most about the way we played is we were shutting down their shooters and not allowing them to get any easy shots, especially in the paint. It was a really great feeling on the win because Yorktown is one of our tougher games.”

Brewster Coach Mike Castaldo also cited the outstanding performance by Francis and the play of Niles and Franklin on the boards.

“When Yorktown was making a run, Olivia was unbelievable,” Castaldo said. “It was just one of those games where she had the hot hand and made some really difficult shots. Yorktown plays such great defense, but Liv had a tremendous game and carried us offensively.

“Jordan Niles and Bri Franklin did a great job on the boards against a bigger Yorktown team. Jordan and Bri are the backbone of our team and we lean on them to do a lot of the dirty work.”

Franklin finished with nine points and nine rebounds and  Lauren Leon also netted nine points. Francis scored a team-best 15 points against Sleepy Hollow and Niles and Leon added 11 points apiece.

As the Bears embark on the second half of their schedule, Niles and her teammates are planning to continue their excellent play.

“I think based on how much our team really wants to be successful, that’s what’s driving all of us to do good in the second half,” Niles said.

Westlake sophomore Brooke Pfeiffer searches for an open teammate as she gets pressured by Pleasantville’s Faith Brown (3) and Maddie Becerra in the first half of the Wildcats’ 64-43 home win on Saturday.

WESTLAKE endured a difficult December schedule facing perennial Section 1 powers across the classes.

Even though the Wildcats suffered a few losses, but Brooke Pfeiffer and her teammates benefited from it, winning four of their last five games.

“Playing hard competition has only helped our team in many ways,” said the senior and captain. “These three straight wins against some of our rivals is exactly what we were looking for, especially after falling just short in many of the games early in the year.”

The Wildcats opened the week with a 61-24 win over Rye Neck, then handed league-rivals Briarlciff (61-41) and Pleasantville (64-43) convincing losses.

Pfeiffer led a balanced effort against Rye Neck with 17 points as nine Wildcats scored.

Maggie Plotkin added 14 points and Olivia Celaj added seven points and 10 rebounds.

Celaj and Plotkin were a strong 1-2 punch against Briarcliff with 21 and 20 points, respectively.

Westlake concluded its 3-0 week beating Pleasantville as Pfeiffer scored a game-high 18 points. Celaj contributed 12 points, Maeve Walsh scored a career-best 11 points and Plotkin added nine points.

WHITE PLAINS won twice, highlighted by a 47-42 win over Boys and Girls High School (Brookln) at the Rose Classic Super Jam Showcase.

The Tigers led 16-3 after the first quarter.

“This was definitely a good test we needed with a city team who likes to play pressure defense,” White Plains’ Coach Benj Carter said. “The good thing was we kept our poise. The younger role players didn’t rattle or back down from the challenge. It was a pleasure watching the work we put in at practice paying off for them.

“Also, with our second top senior, Sequoia Layne, sitting the whole first half in foul trouble, senior Ineivi Plata controlled the flow of the game with her defense and offense. It was important for her to make the right plays and communicate at a high level in guiding our eighth-graders, and freshmen who had to play a ton of minutes. This win, to us, was a big boost.”

Yorktown’s Kaitlyn Judge zips a pass as she’s guarded by Brewster’s Ava Fagan in Huskers’ 55-44 loss to host Bears Thursday.

Plata was named most valuable player with 18 points, six rebounds, seven assists and seven steals. Layne, who received the sportsmanship award, finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.

White Plains opened league play with a 56-22 win over Fox Lane behind Plata’s 12 points, six assists and six steals. Layne finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and five assists and freshman McKenna Austin scored nine points.

LAKELAND began the week with a convincing win over Sleepy Hollow then played its finest game in the season in a 58-55 victory over an excellent Rye team.

“This was a full team effort,” said Lakeland Coach Miranda Mangan of the Rye game. “Everyone was all in for all four quarters. Nichole showed great leadership and hit some big shots and clutch free throws down the stretch. Riley was hustling on both ends of the court and gave us a spark we needed when Rye started to make a comeback. I’m really proud of the way the girls played. It was a very exciting game.”

Nichole Ljuljic finished with a game-high 21 points, including 4-4 from the foul line in the final minute. Freshman Riley Waters added 18 points and Ava Lugo scored 11 points.

Ljuljic scored a team-best 21 points against Sleepy Hollow. Lugo had 16 points, Amanda Franco contributed 12 points and Waters chipped in with 11 points.

HEN HUD won for the seventh time in 10 games as Elyse Smith led the way with 13 points and six steals against Peekskill. Freshman Maria Ribeiro scored a season-high 11 points and Kaitlyn Raguso finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Kayla Tresgallo scored nine points, Alexa Robinson added seven points and five assists and Nisaa Emery had a pair of sevens – points and rebounds.

Ossining F Saniya Bell (12 points, 10 boards) snags rebound in Pride’s 69-45 win over host Croton Friday.

Following a surprising loss to Fox Lane in league play, OSSINING bounced back to dominate Lincoln and beat Croton.

The Pride scored a season-high 80 points against Lincoln, led by Nicole Perriott with 13 points and eight rebounds. Claire Schnecker scored 12 points, freshman Kinya Green had 11 points and seven rebounds and Rhian Fitzpatrick added 10 points and six rebounds. Sophia Torrieri collected nine assists.

The Pride led Croton at halftime, 30-29, but outscored the Tigers 20-5 in the third quarter.

Zoey Jowers scored a career-high 29 points while Schnecker added 17 points, eight assists and seven steals. Saniya Bell had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Ty’asia Carver handed out eight assists.

YORKTOWN had a tough week, dropping games to Brewster (55-44) and Mamaroneck (62-42). Lexi Livadi scored a team-high 22 points and Kaitlyn Judge added 14 points against Brewster.

Livadi scored 18 points and collected 11 rebounds and Judge finished with 14 points and eight boards against Mamaroneck.

“It was a tough league loss,” said Yorktown Coach Kristi Dini about Brewster. “We played hard and we were prepared. We have held teams, even in losses, in the high 30s in our first four games. We can’t give up almost 60 and win. Gotta give big-time credit to Olivia Francis who had a career-high 28 against us. I think the fun thing about our league is that anyone can win this year.

“Mamaroneck has speed and size,” she added. “We had really great moments and cut the lead to single digits every quarter. They were just better than us in this game. But, gotta give our girls credit for making everything difficult for them. They hit nine 3s and we only made two.”

Maya Lavigne of Pleasantville is challenged by Westlake’s Maddy Sergeant (34) and BrookePfeiffer as she tries to shoot the ball in Saturday’s 64-43 win by the host Wildcats.

PLEASANTVILLE won its first two games of the week – 67-46 – over archrival Briarcliff and 42-38 over Valhalla, before falling to Westlake.

Maddie Becerra was one of three starters in double figures against Briarcliff with a team-best 18 points. Meghan Raefski registered 17 points and Lexi Tomaselli scored 12 points.

Tomaselli scored 15 points and Raefski chipped in 11 points against Valhalla.

BYRAM HILLS split two games, beating Somers (44-34), but falling to Irvington (53-43). Grace Corelli had a game-high 24 points against Somers. She followed with 20 points against Irvington.

FOX LANE turned in one of its most impressive wins of the season – 55-48 against Ossining – in the Foxes’ league-opener. Riley New and Lauren Antolino each scored 11 points and Cara Drapala added 10 points.

The Foxes also dropped a 56-22 verdict to Class AAA power White Plains.










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