Girls Hoops Notebook: Tuskers Steal a Win from Sailors, Kennedy Beats Pac and Peekskill

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Somers couldn’t seem to keep up with Hendrick Hudson through the first half of the Tuskers’ game at home Friday evening, staying one step behind of the Sailors and trailing 22-21 at the half. But thanks to an 11-4 run in the third by the Tuskers, a huge 3-pointer by Tara Schurr in the closing minutes to take the lead, and a few good foul shots for some distance, Somers struck back to beat Hen Hud 44-38 to enter the winter break.

Saniya Chong and the Ossining Pride returned from Arizona having faced some of the toughest competition in the nation. Photo by Ray Gallagher

Schurr, who led all scorers with 11 points, chalked up the win to performing well under pressure, and took it as an early Christmas gift.

“The team is really relaxed,” she said. “We were kind of able to keep control under the pressure, and we just really wanted to win going into the holidays. We wanted to have something good for us to celebrate the holiday season.”

Schurr’s three-point field goal made it 40-38 in favor of Somers with a minute left, then a turnover by the Sailors led to two more points on a put-back by Emma Schurr. Nicole DeMase – Somers’ second-leading scorer with eight points – followed by being force-fouled, and banked in two free throws to seal the deal.

Tuskers Head Coach Kristi Dini wasn’t surprised the Sailors gave her squad a hard time, but she was pleased with how her team responded to close out the game.

“I told the girls coming in, this was definitely going to be one of our tougher games. They (Hen Hud) have some talent, some presence inside, some girls that can shoot the ball, so it was definitely a big win for us,” the coach said. “A couple times we got caught inside, helping inside. We came down and Tara Schurr hit the big three, we got another defensive stop, and Emma Schurr came down with a big rebound and put-back to put us up five. At that point, with only a minute left, they had to force foul and put us on the free-throw line.”

The Sailors pressed the Tuskers throughout the first half, being paced on offense by Cassidy Boyle, who was Hen Hud’s leading scorer with nine points – which were all scored on 3-pointers. Leatina Hutchings was right behind her with eight points while Megan Jahoda and Angela Marriot each notched six.

Sailors Head Coach Ken Sherman felt his girls played well, but ran out of gas as the game progressed.

“We had 18 points in the first quarter and we only ended up with 38, so we only had 20 down the rest of the way. We got very cold, I don’t think we executed as well, but we played very good defense,” he said. “At the end, we basically lost a two minute game. When games are close, it comes down to two-minute intervals, and unfortunately we came out on the wrong end.”

Hen Hud will now break for the holidays and be back on Jan. 4 to face Panas on the road. Somers (4-3) will also have the week off; also returning to action on Jan. 4 vs. Kennedy, who posted wins over Mahopac and Peekskill this past week.

The Gaels (6-2), after a 38-36 win over Lourdes last Monday, topped the Indians 45-36 last Wednesday – a win that Head Coach Lance DeMarzo really wanted, not only because he is a Mahopac alumnus, but also because he coached at Mahopac for 12 years.

“The girls came up with a win and I think between beating Lourdes two days before – we were pretty drained mentally and physically from that game, and then going into the Mahopac game knowing that not only was I alumni of Mahopac, but I coached there for 12 years, the girls wanted to really win,” he said. “For some reason we came out flat and lethargic against them, but after the first quarter we picked it back up and got almost a double-digit win. I’m impressed; the girls are getting their basketball IQ about them. Ripping off three big wins is great and we’re stepping it up.”

Kiera Hennessy led the Gaels in points with 13 points vs. the Indians, and added six boards, two blocks and a steal. Behind her was Shayna Gaskins with 10 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds and four steals.

Mairead Hynes was Mahopac’s leading lady with 16 points.

On Friday night Kennedy continued its win streak with a 48-33 win over Peekskill – another victory that meant a lot to the Gaels, considering they were without their leading scorer from the Mahopac win (Hennessy was sidelined with the flu).

“I think we played Peekskill very good defensively; we frustrated them on defense,” DeMarzo said. “We handled their pressure – their full-court pressure – and it was an especially solid win, missing Kiera.”

Gaskins paced the Gaels in the win over Peekskill, leading the team with 12 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, three steals, and an assist. Sophomore Megan Weidenhamer was also in double digits in points scored with 10, and she added five rebounds. Leah Greene added a defensive presence, posting nine boards, six steals, and two blocks.

Peekskill’s highest scorer was Morgan Beechum with 12 points.


The Pride competed in the Nike Tournament of Champions last week, traveling out to the far reaches of Arizona to strut their stuff. They came up short in their first game last Thursday, losing 89-67 to Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana, CA. Despite the loss, Saniya Chong and Jalay Knowles each notched double-doubles; Chong with 28 points and 10 boards, Knowles with 10 points and 14 boards.

In the second round, Ossining dropped its game to Dr. Phillips of Orlando, FL on Friday, 86-57. Chong led with 24 points and nine assists while Andra Espinoza-Hunter posted 14 points. The Pride will return to New York and gear up for the Slam Dunk Tournament at the Westchester County Center this week. Their first round opponent will be St. Anthony’s on Thursday.


The Blue Devils were edged closely in their last two games, losing 47-44 to Hen Hud on Dec. 17 and 50-44 at the hands of Beacon on Friday. They’ll be in action, looking to get back in the win column, at Pawling on Jan. 4.

Panas defeated Putnam Valley, 45-33, behind Sam Sudol’s 19 points, and 18 more from Megan Moreno. Erin McCrudden, Reena Olsen and Alyssa Stockinger had points apiece eight for the Tigers.

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