White Plains High School Head Coach Benjamin Carter took over the Tigers Girls Basketball Program last season with two main aspirations: invigorate the program and elevate it to the level of play and respectability as the famed Ossining High School and The Ursuline School Girls Basketball Programs.
Carter had marginal success last season while compiling a 14-8 overall and 6-4 Conference 1B League record. In his first season at the helm, Carter led the Lady Tigers to the Quarterfinals of the Section 1 AA Playoffs, after beating Fox Lane High School in the Opening Round.
However, waiting for Carter and his Lady Tigers in the Quarterfinals last year was their ultimate proving ground: The Pride of Ossining High School. The Lady Tigers were not quite ready for Ossining last season and lost in the Quarterfinals convincingly, 97-54.
This season once again the Lady Tigers progress is evident, even with only eight games played thus far this year. The Lady Tigers are 6-2 overall, 3-0 Conference 1B, after traveling to Peekskill High School last week and capturing the Girls Championship of the Lou Panazanaro, Sr. Basketball Tournament.
On Jan. 10, the Lady Tigers ran over Haldane High School, 65-40, the representatives from Section 1 Class C, in the Opening Round of the Peekskill Tournament. Senior guard Kennedi Leak, who has vastly improved this season, led the Tigers scoring with 18 points. Aliya McIver, the eighth grade point guard on the young Lady Tigers roster, added 15 points, five assists and seven steals, while team leader junior Julia Reggio scored 12 points.
The Lady Tigers returned to Peekskill two days later on Jan. 12 and were challenged by a formidable Class AA Yorktown High School team, which is presently 7-2, this season. The Lady Tigers survived a tough contest beating the Huskies, 48-42, while capturing the Peekskill Tournament Title.
Reggio was true to form in this game, scoring more than half of the total points for the Tigers. Reggio dropped 26 points of the Lady Tigers 48 total points in the game. She was presented the Tournament MVP Award for her efforts. McIver, the eighth-grade newcomer made the All-Tournament Team. “The season is going good so far as we work hard towards capturing the league championship,” said Carter
The Lady Tigers are a very young team with only two seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and an eighth grade prodigy in McIver. However, with the improvement of Leak this season, the steadfast play of Reggio, the toughness in the paint of Savannah Williams with the promise that senior Catherine Amodio can corral her outside shooting; Carter’s aspiration of a Sectional Title is within the Lady Tigers grasp.