Byram Hills Making Gains; Briarcliff’s Carrafiello Scores 1,000th Point

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By Tony Pinciaro
Briarcliff senior Cat Carrafiello drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of Friday’s home game vs. Westlake. Just moments later, she scored the 1000 th point of her varsity career at the free-throw line.

BYRAM HILLS struggled through the first half of the season as it dealt with injuries and a difficult schedule against some of Section 1’s finest teams. Coach Tara Ryan and her team played well even though the record didn’t indicate it. However, once Byram Hills returned to full health, it resulted in five wins in seven games.

The Bobcats beat Edgemont (58-31) and Ardsley (46-43), improving to 7-10 heading into the final week of the regular season. One of the reasons for Byram Hills’ surge is the return of junior guard Grace Corelli, who leads the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game.

“Having Grace changes the game for us,” Ryan said. “She is so calm and posed under pressure and can still make plays. It has been great watching her grow as a player over the past four years. Newcomer Lucianna Parrotta, an eighth-grader, has shown she can be a defensive and offensive threat. Now that we have our full crew of post players and a bench full of experience, we are able to play at a much higher level than earlier in the season.”

Corelli and Parrotta led Byram Hills to the easy win over Edgemont with 21 points and 11 points, respectively. Parrotta also added eight steals and Hailey Sirkin contributed eight points.

“Grace and Lucianna are really connecting on defense and forming a great front for us with all the steals and deflections they are able to get,” Ryan said. “Our team is able to run and get fastbreak points which makes the game a whole lot easier.”

Byram Hills turned in one of its strongest defensive performances of the season against a good Ardsley team.

“The key to winning for us came down to defense,” Ryan said. “We wanted to control the intensity from the first quarter and we were able to do that. The energy and the crowd got our players on the floor laser focused.

“We wanted to execute on three different strategies to try and slow Ardsley down and we were able to execute them most of the time. Fastbreaking has been something we have been working on and has allowed us to score more and put more pressure on different teams because we are looking for steals.”

Corelli scored 20 points and Parrotta finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Adrianna Scanga of Briarcliff hauls in a rebound during the Bears’ loss to visiting Westlake on Friday afternoon.

BRIARCLIFF celebrated a milestone for senior Cat Carrafiello, who scored her 1,000th varsity point in her brilliant career. The senior and captain hit the magic number with a free throw in a loss to Westlake.

“It was such a surreal experience after four years of hard work on the varsity basketball team,” said Carrafiello, who will attend Middlebury in September and play basketball. “Despite the result of the game, my teammates and coaches made the night super special with the balloons, flowers and posters they got me. Once I scored my last point and they announced it, I just felt this rush of excitement. I’ll never forget the moment and I am very thankful to everyone who was there to cheer me on.”

Carrafiello finished with 20 points and Caroline Barbalato added 16 points.

Barbalato led Briarcliff with 19 points and Carrafiello had 18 points in a loss to Scarsdale.

Briarcliff began the week with a 65-59 double-overtime victory over archrival Pleasantville behind a game-high 25 points from Carrafiello.

“The win over Pleasantville was huge,” Carrafiello said. “Any game against Pleasantville is always a battle and, in my opinion, that kind of game is what makes sports fun. Both teams worked super hard, and going into double overtime shows that. Winning that game was especially big for our team because it really showed our capability to fight and work hard.”

Adrianna Scanga added a career-high 16 points and Barbalato scored 14 points against Pleasantville.

PUTNAM VALLEY is now 17-1 on the season after cruising to wins over Nyack (67-44) and North Salem (70-34).

The state-ranked (No.5) Class B Tigers close out the regular season with two games, starting with hosting Haldane, today. It will be a special day for senior Eva DeChent who needs 15 points to reach another milestone – 2,000 varsity points. DeChent would become the 12th Section 1 girl to amass 2,000 varsity points. Ossining’s Saniya Chong is Section 1’s leader with 2,988 points.

DeChent continued her torrid scoring touch with 32 points against Nyack, along with six rebounds and four assists, and 31 against North Salem. Nai Torres added 13 points against Nyack and Simone Gabriel chipped in nine points.

Torres finished with 12 points against North Salem. Brianna Foody scored 10 points and Jona Kabashi had nine points.

WHITE PLAINS is one of the hottest teams in Section 1 as the state-ranked No.27 Class AA Tigers extended their winning streak to 11 games after victories over Ursuline (50-44), Port Chester (60-21) and Horace Greeley (50-32), on Senior Night.

“We had a sloppy win against Horace Greeley on our senior night, but it was understandable,” White Plains’ Coach Benj Carter said. “The nerves were running high in front of family and friends. We will get back on track mentally.”

Aliya McIver had 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals on Senior Night. Ineivi Plata added nine points, seven rebounds and five assists and five steals, Capri DeMara added eight and India Newman had seven points.

Carter cited his six seniors – Kristen Morris, Stella Gould, Cairenn Sergi, Annaliese Reggio, DeMara and McIver – for their contributions to the team.

“Although playing time varies for this group, they are a very close-knit group on and off the court,” Carter said. “I always tell them they are bright student-athletes with amazing character. They are why we have good team chemistry and communicate well. And, they sacrifice personal glory for the growth of our team’s success. They absolutely love and support each other.”

Plata led the Tigers with 13 points against Pleasantville. Isabella McGuire contributed nine points and eight rebounds and DeMara added eight points.

White Plains (15-3 this season) used a strong fourth quarter to overcome Ursuline.

“Ursuline battled back from a 10-point deficit in the first half and took a one-point lead in the third quarter,” Carter said. “It was back-and-forth until the fourth quarter. We got some much-needed defensive stops. It was an awesome game from beginning to end.”

Plata had a game-high 20 points and also had five assists and four steals. Sequoia Layne finished with eight points, four rebounds and five blocked shots and McIver added eight points, five rebounds and four assists.

WESTLAKE closed out a 2-1 week with an impactful 62-54 victory over a good Briarcliff team. Allie Castellone was one of three Wildcats in double figures with a team-leading 19 points. Toni-Ann Mastracchio and Maggie Plotkin scored 10 points apiece.

“This was a huge week for our team with three tough road games,” Castellone said. “We fell to Irvington, but we made sure that would not affect the rest of our week. We beat Rye Neck and then had a great win against Briarcliff. We made sure our energy and body language was positive for the games we had next and we were ready to play as soon as we got on the court.”

Castellone led a balanced scoring effort, netting 17 points in the 66-41 win over Rye Neck. Mastracchio added 13 points, Sami Oswald had 12 points and Plotkin scored 10 points.

VALHALLA won two of three games last week as the Vikings continued playing good basketball in the season’s second half. Following a 52-39 loss to Blind Brook, Valhalla rebounded to edge Woodlands (42-40) and Pleasantville (34-29).

Tvisha Sivaramakrishnan had a big game against Blind Brook with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

“Woodlands really took us out of our rhythm and made us earn every bit of that two-point victory,” Valhalla Coach Dave Berry said. “Point guard, Sanai Wilson, really filled the stat sheet and made big plays down the stretch for us to seal the win. Sanai actually missed the game against Pleasantville, but the girls stepped up collectively and made plays. I can’t say enough about the defensive effort of Giulia Rutigliano and the leadership of juniors Paige Williams and Cyndy Waterman at the end.”

Wilson led the Vikings against Woodland with 13 points, six steals, five rebounds and four assists; Cydney Waterman and Violet Mattoni each added eight points.

Williams scored a game-high 14 points against Pleasantville and Mattoni scored seven points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Rutigliano held Pleasantville leading-scorer Megan Raefski to eight points.

HEN HUD snapped a three-game losing streak with a 59-46 over Lakeland. The Sailors, 11-6 this season, outscored Lakeland by 10 points in the third quarter to extend their lead to 14 points.

Kaitlyn Raguso poured in a game-high 27 points and also had nine rebounds. Madison Porter added nine points, 10 rebounds and a team-high four assists.

MAHOPAC beat league-rival Arlington (57-44) then handed Pelham only its second loss of the season, 51-44.

“The girls showed a lot of heart this weekend,” Mahopac Coach Mairead Hynes said. “They played with determination and were poised under pressure. They were really nice wins against great competition.”

Lauren Beberman was one of three Mahopac players in double figures against Pelham with 13 points. Fiona O’Boyle chipped in 12 points and Gianna Rispoli scored 10 points.

Beberman scored a game-high 20 points against Arlington and Kristina Rush had nine points.

LAKELAND is now 10-8 this season after winning two games – 59-41 over Brewster and 52-37 over Bronxville. Panas denied Lakeland a perfect week with a 49-28 setback at the Giglio Games.

Ava Lugo scored a game-high 20 points against Brewster. Sarah Devane scored 13 points and Grace Hahn added 10 points and five blocked shots

Nichole Ljuljic scored a game-high 16 points against Bronxville and Sarah Devane contributed 11 points.

“We ran our offense well,” said Lakeland Coach Miranda Mangan of the Bronxville game. “We were patient, made smart decisions and shot really well from the outside.”

In the loss to Panas, Ljuljic paced Lakeland with 12 points.

OSSINING ran its winning streak to three consecutive after beating Horace Greeley (47-42) and Saunders (80-45). However, the Pride lost a tough one to Irvington (56-53) in the Pauline Ricci Tournament.

The Pride atoned for a loss earlier this season to Greeley as it outscored the Quakers, 17-4, in the fourth quarter to steal the win.

Zoey Jowers scored a game-best 21 points and also had five steals and Ty’asia Carver added 12 points and five assists. Saniya Bell grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds and Angelica Rios added 10 boards.

Jowers led Ossining with 17 points against Saunders and Nicole Perriott added 13 points and nine rebounds. Bell had nine rebounds and Sophia Torrieri scored eight points and collected five assists.

Panas girls pose with Giglio trophy after knocking off rival Lakeland Saturday.

PANAS had its first sub-.500 week of the season, dropping two of three games. The state-ranked (No.28) Class A Panthers, now 12-5 this season, lost to Class AA schools, Scarsdale (38-34) and Albertus Magnus (49-40) before salvaging the week with a second win over Lakeland (49-28).

“In the Scarsdale game we played solid defense, but struggled scoring the ball.” Panas Coach Matt Evangelista said. “In the Albertus game their two 6-foot-3 forwards hurt us inside. We were down, 23-6, but cut the lead to three multiple times, but could never get the lead. We played well though, against an excellent team.”

Cadence Nicholas scored a season-high 27 points against Lakeland and Sophia Tavarez added 13 points to grab the golden Giglio Ball over their intra-district rival.

BREWSTER had a week it would like to forget, going 0-3 and dropping the Bears to .500 (9-9) this season. Lakeland (59-41), John Jay-Cross River (54-41) and Yorktown bested Brewster.

“The Lakeland game was very close at the half and we were actually up four early in the third then we couldn’t make a shot or get a stop,” Brewster Coach Mike Castaldo said. “Lakeland simply outplayed us in the second half.

“The John Jay game I was very proud of our team. This game we could have given up and lost by more than 30. Jay is a very good team. We cut a 22-point third-quarter lead to 11 late in the fourth quarter. We just couldn’t make shots.

“Finally, against Yorktown, it was 32 minutes of offensive struggles. We played great defense and rebounded well, but simply couldn’t score.”

Zoe Kress of Pleasantville and her Panther teammates faced difficult defense against Cydney Waterman and Valhalla in a 34 to 29 Viking win.

PLEASANTVILLE had a busy week, going 1-3. The Panthers opened with a 44-31 win over Dobbs Ferry in which they allowed only three points in the fourth quarter. Meghan Raefski led all scorers with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Ruby Donohue added eight points.

Pleasantville played archrival Briarcliff tough, but the Bears prevailed in double overtime despite balanced scoring. Raefski finished with 18 points, Kayla Collins had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Donohue also had 15 points and seven rebounds.

Valhalla played a strong game defensively, holding Pleasantville to 29 points. It didn’t get any easier for the Panthers who faced Class A power Pearl River the following day and dropped a 47-28 verdict.

YORKTOWN received 13 points from Olivia Lucas and Lexi Livadhi added eight points in a 38-32 win over Brewster. The Cornhuskers lost whatever momentum they had from the Brewster victory with a 23-21 loss to Bronxville. Yorktown, 11-5 this season, had Kaitlyn Judge with 11 points and Nicole Boccia with eight points.

FOX LANE treated its seniors to a victorious night in a 59-21 triumph over Saunders. Tess DiCarlo registered a double-double – a team-leading 11 points and 10 rebounds. Maddie Broghammer added nine points and Nell Silverman finished with eight points.

HORACE GREELEY lost both games last week, 47-42 to Ossining and 50-32 to White Plains.

The Quakers went cold in the fourth quarter against Ossining, being outscored 17-4. Bella Schulman scored 15 points and Allie Mosca added 11 points.

The Quakers (9-8 overall, 4-3 in league play) ran into a White Plains’ team that is on an 11-game winning streak. Carolina Negrin scored 11 points and added seven rebounds and Emma Rose added nine points.

Greeley closes out the regular season this week as it hosts Saunders for Senior Night, Tuesday, then travels to Port Chester (Thursday) and archrival Fox Lane (Friday).

CARMEL went 0-3, including a pair of league setbacks to John Jay-East Fishkill and Arlington.

“We played tough against Fox Lane and the game was a back-and-forth affair,” Carmel Coach John Sullivan said.

Devin Fusco led Carmel with 10 points and 15 rebounds against Fox Lane. Megan Whitford added nine points and 11 rebounds and Amelia Rosario had eight points and seven rebounds.

Maeve McGlynn led Carmel with 12 points, freshman Kylie Murphy added 11 points and Fusco snared 11 rebounds against John Jay.


An earlier version of this piece misspelled the name of Zoe Kress of Pleasantville

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