Girls Hoops Notebook
Short-handed Putnam Valley Win Lakeland Tourney; Impressive Openers for Mahopac, Brewster, Hen Hud, Ossining
By Tony Pinciaro
Even though PUTNAM VALLEY opened the 2019-20 season with three-straight victories, the Tigers have endured a difficult start. The Tigers are short-handed because of injuries and a short bench to begin with. Despite this, Putnam Valley has persevered.
“I’m proud of the girls because we’ve had to deal with a lot of adversity this season,” Putnam Valley Coach Kristi Dini said. “We have some things to work on and adjustments to continue to make, but the girls are stepping up and by the end of next week we should have eight of our 10 healthy and be ready to go.”
After premiering with a victory over Pleasantville, Putnam Valley faced Clarkstown North in a first-round game of the Lakeland Relay for Life Tournament.
PV freshman Eva DeChent poured in a game-high 24 points and Arianna Stockinger contributed 20 points in a 66-25 win. Putnam Valley followed it up with a 44-35 victory over Lakeland in the final.
Stockinger finished with 15 points and was named the tournament most valuable player. Kelli Venezia added 13 points.
Three games into the season and Putnam Valley has displayed its trademark suffocating defense.
“Lakeland played hard, but I thought our defense was great,” Dini said. “We struggled to put the ball in, but have to give Lakeland a ton of credit. They took us out of our offensive flow that we had the night before. A great group of kids, several that play hoops year-round and they played tough, start to finish.”
Prior to its tournament, Lakeland opened the season with a 45-38 victory over Nyack as Taylor Hormazabal led the Hornets with 16 points.
Hannah Devane added 11 points and Amanda Cole finished with six points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Lakeland and Carmel hooked up in a high-scoring first-round Relay for Life Tournament game with the Hornets prevailing, 71-65.
Devane was one of four Hornets in double figures with a game-high 21 points. Hormazabal chipped in 15 points, Sofia Portante added 11 points and Cole had 10 points.
Portante led Lakeland with 13 points and six rebounds against Putnam Valley in the final. Devane had her third consecutive game in double-figure points with 11.
Portante was named to the all-tournament team as was Carmel’s Caroline McIntyre.
“Overall, we’ve had a great start to the season,” Lakeland Coach Miranda Mangan said. “We have an athletic group of girls who are tough and work hard. We look forward to watching them grow and develop as the season progresses.”
OSSINING opened the season by giving veteran coach Dan Ricci his 500th career win – an 84-44 triumph of Mount Vernon – in front of the home crowd.
“It’s really an amazing feeling to have seen Coach Ricci be honored with such a huge accomplishment because he works so hard and does everything for us girls,” senior Julia Iorio said. “Having the whole community by his side when he received 500 makes it even better.”
Iorio, a sniper by trade, had a game-high 24 and seven rebounds. Adriana McFadden added 16 points, seven rebounds and six steals, Michelle Mercado finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Tamia Dimmie collected six assists.
Iorio and her teammates enjoyed watching former teammates play in the UConn-Seton Hall women’s basketball game on their way to the Art Turner Tournament in Virginia.
UConn has freshman and 2019 Ossining graduate Aubrey Griffin and Seton Hall features senior Shadeen Samuels and 2019 Ossining alumnus/freshman Kailah Harris.
“Seeing Aubrey, Shadeen and Kailah play was great,” Iorio said. “All the girls and coaches had a great time. It’s just really incredible, three girls from Ossining going head-to-head on Division 1 teams is very rare. Seeing Aubrey and Kailah, especially, because we all grew up in Ossining and to see them out there on the court put a smile on my face.”
Ossining lost both games at the tournament down south – 86-57 to Pallotti (Md.) and 66-47 to Sidwell Friends (Washington D.C).
HEN HUD bolted from the gate with three consecutive wins — 52-25 win over Nanuet, 59-17 over Mamaroneck and 52-32 over Sleepy Hollow.
In the Nanuet and Mamaroneck games, Hen Hud held both teams to two points apiece in the first quarter.
“Caitlin (Weimar) has been dominant and our defense has been fantastic,” Hen Hud Coach Ken Sherman said.
Marist-bound Caitlin Weimar scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 19 rebounds against Nanuet. Grace Moretti added 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
The Sailors outscored the Golden Knights, 20-5, in the second quarter to go into halftime with a 21-point lead.
Weimar had 17 points, 13 rebounds and five steals against Mamaroneck. Moretti added 10 points and Colleen Ryan collected seven points, four rebounds and four assists.
Weimar scored 21 points and had nine rebounds against Sleepy Hollow. Moretti finished with 11 points, Mylene Smith added eight points and Kira Varada finished with six rebounds and four steals.
Youthful BREWSTER is 2-0 following victories over Beacon, 54-38, and Pleasantville, 54-49. Freshman Madison Dakin led Brewster in the season-opener with 13 points. She also had five rebounds and four steals. Sophomore Grace Galgano added 12 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks and junior Carly DeLanoy finished with 10 points and four assists.
“It was a typical first game of the season, very sloppy and lots of nerves,” Brewster Coach Mike Castaldo said. “Beacon did a great job of beating us on the boards, 50/50 balls and hustle plays. The girls picked it up and built a 20-point lead in the second half.”
Galgano sealed the victory over Pleasantville with a pair of free throws in the waning seconds. She finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks. Alexis Mark and DeLanoy each had eight points.
“This was a great back-and-forth game from wire-to-wire,” Castaldo said. “Pleasantville cut the lead to 48-46 with 30 seconds to go, but Alexis hit a huge three to put us up five, but Pleasantville hit a three with 10 seconds to go. Pleasantville is a really good team. They just had no answer for Grace.”
YORKTOWN split a pair of games in its 23rd annual George Budries Memorial Tournament.
The Cornhuskers opened with a 50-29 victory over Beacon, earning a berth in the final against Monroe-Woodbury. The Crusaders prevailed in the final, 47-37.
Husker Ashley Zeolla had 21 points and 10 rebounds against Beacon and Melissa Severino added 15 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Alyssa Perrino contributed six points and 10 rebounds.
Yorktown Coach Brian Mundy said his team went on a 19-3 run over an 11:24 span to start the 2nd half and take a 42-21 lead.
Severino had 16 points against Monroe-Woodbury and was chosen for the all-tournament team.
“I’m not big on moral victories or anything,” Mundy said. “A loss is a loss, but that 10-point loss came to a very good Class AA Monroe-Woodbury team that is going to make some noise in Section 9. Our girls played so aggressive defensively and that is going to keep us in a lot of games this season. They work extremely hard in practice. They understand how important it is to defend, and their grittiness is going to carry them this season.
“I was pleased with how well we moved the ball and with our defensive effort against Beacon. Everybody contributed,” he added. “We made some changes and held their leading scorer to three points in the second half.”
Emily Ward finished with four points, her first varsity points, and five rebounds and Zeolla collected six rebounds.
MAHOPAC began the season with a convincing 48-22 victory over Suffern. The Indians held Suffern to just nine points in the second half.
Indian freshman G Kristina Rush led Mahopac with 14 points in her first varsity game and junior F Caitlyn O’Boyle had 12 points. The Class AA Indians have some young talent, including a handful of freshmen and sophs, who could make a run at the League I-A title.
“Being the first game, we were a little nervous and tight, but in the second half we picked up our defensive pressure,” Mahopac Coach Chuck Scozzafava said. “We started to hit some shots and scored off of our defense.”
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