Westlake, Panas, White Plains, Hen Hud all on a Run

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By Tony Pinciaro
Fox Lane sophomore Riley New, who has shown explicit versatility this season, takes a run at Horace Greeley junior Georgia Sack.

WESTLAKE is doing what many teams want to accomplish as the season progresses. Following a difficult December featuring a brutally-tough schedule, the Wildcats are playing their best basketball of the season and improving each game.

The Wildcats have won five consecutive games and six of their last seven after beating rival Valhalla (56-38) and Eastchester (44-30). The victory over Valhalla completed the rival hat trick for Westlake as the Wildcats beat Pleasantville and Briarcliff in its previous two games. Wildcat sophomore Brooke Pfeiffer has been at the heart of the run.

“Over the last run of wins, the team has really found their roles,” Pfeiffer said. “Early on, we were all feeling each others’ strengths since we are such a young team. The coaches now ask us to be the best version of our roles whether on offense or defense. Our team has worked very hard to raise the bar every day.  Practice or game, we strive to get better and keep our eyes on the prize.”

Westlake Coach Sean Mayer noted that his team took charge of the game by outsourcing Valhalla, 16-4, in the third quarter. Maggie Plotkin led Westlake with a game-high 19 points.  Pfeiffer and Olivia Celaj added 18 and 12 points, respectively.

Violet Mattoni led VALHALLA with 12 points.

The trio of Pfeiffer, Plotkin and Celaj are proving to be difficult to contend with. Either of the three can lead Westlake in scoring with the other two adding double digits.

“We are a threat from outside or inside,” Pfeiffer said. “All of the girls are looking for the extra pass to ensure we get the right shot, not just the open shot. I am really excited about the rest of the season as I think we are just starting to tap into our team’s potential.”

HEN HUD improved to 9-3 this season with victories over Sleepy Hollow and Lakeland. The 56-53 victory over Lakeland was especially satisfying as Kaitlyn Raguso scored a game–high 27 points and also added nine rebounds.

Yorktown Sophomore Olivia DelGaudio goes up strong against Somers defender Kacey McCullogh in Huskers’ 67-61 win over visiting Tuskers Wednesday.

“We played aggressive defense and our efforts to get almost the majority of the rebounds throughout the whole game were keys,” Raguso said. “I also believe the way we started the game with lots of energy and intensity led us to a successful game, including the players on the bench always hyping us up. This game truly showed how connected our team is and how good we can really be.”

Alexa Robinson added nine points and Hailey Pearson collared nine rebounds. Elyse Smith also had nine rebounds and contributed five steals.

Hen Hud received contributions from everyone in the 59-23 win over Sleepy Hollow. Raguso led the way with 17 points and eight rebounds. Elyse Smith finished with 12 points and Kayla Tresgallo netted eight points. Hailey Pearson and Imani Yusef each grabbed seven rebounds and Kayla McCarthy added six rebounds and a team-leading five assists.

Raguso and her teammates know it’s a big week for them with games at Putnam Valley, Wednesday, and at Panas, Saturday.

“This is where it really comes down to see if we can pull it together and keep control of both games,” Raguso said. “We have been practicing hard and focusing our energy for this exact week. So if we just play our game at our pace we have a really good chance of having an amazing outcome. I really believe we can do it.”

WHITE PLAINS added two league wins to the ledger and is now 11-5 this season.

The Tigers cruised to a 65-29 win over Port Chester behind huge game from Ineivi Plata, who had 26 points, 10 assists, six steals and five rebounds. Sequoia Layne and Jade Jackson had 10 points and seven points, respectively.

White Plains followed it up with a 69-58 victory over Ossining with four players scoring in double digits, led by Plata with 18 points along with eight rebounds and 12 assists.

Isabella McGuire added 15 points and eight rebounds, Sequoia Layne finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and five steals and Jade Jackson scored 10 points.

“Now the game is distributed for everyone and we have the talent in every position,” Plata said. “The work that our coach has done with the underclassmen has been enormous. He has given each one the confidence to finish the plays. Having different scorers shows that we play as a team and that we all want to score.”

OSSINING split a pair of league games, highlighted by a thrilling 75-73 double-overtime win over Horace Greeley. The Pride received major contributions from the quartet of Saniya Bell, Ty’asia Carver, Zoey Jowers and Nicole Perriott.

Bell scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Ty’asia Carver finished with 18 points, eight rebounds

Valhalla junior Guilia Rutigliano sets her sights on the basket while driving past Briarcliff’s Nico Vargish (left) and Gemma Fante in the first quarter of last Wednesday’s game hosted by the Bears.

and eight assists. Zoey Jowers netted 13 points and Nicole Perriott had a huge game on the glass with 25 rebounds. Ja myra Thomas provided the margin of victory on a short jumper with 8.1 seconds remaining.

“I was really impressed with my players’ perseverance,” Ossining Coach Dan Ricci said. “We were down four points with under 30 seconds left when Ty’asia hit a 3 with 27.5 seconds left in the first overtime to make it 66-65. After they made one of two free throws, Ty’asia hit a running layup with 1.7 seconds left to send it to a second overtime.”

Ricci said Greeley evened the score at 73-73 with 20 seconds on the clock. Carver assisted Thomas on the decisive shot.

“Nicole had a monster game on the boards with 25 rebounds,” Ricci said.

Jowers paced the Pride with 25 points and Bell added 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 69-58 loss to White Plains. Sophia Torrieri rang up seven assists.

The Pride hosts North Rockland, Wednesday, and Mamaroneck, Saturday.

After winning eight of its first 10 games, BREWSTER had its momentum halted in a 54-40 loss to John Jay-Cross River.

Brewster Coach Mike Castaldo pointed out his team rallied back from a 15-point halftime deficit to within four points entering the fourth quarter. However, John Jay controlled the final quarter.

“John Jay did a greater job of running on both ends of the floor and made shots. We were cold from the floor and had some poor rotations on defense,” Castaldo said. “We just ran out of gas in the fourth.”

Olivia Francis led Brewster with 14 points, Lauren Leon added 13 points and Jordan Niles scored 11 points. The Bears bounced back to beat Poughkeepsie, formerly of Section 1 and now Section 9, 47-39.

Francis scored all of her 14 points in the second half. Niles and Bri Franklin finished with 11 points apiece.

“The girls did a good job of settling in in the second half,” Castaldo said. “We just weren’t making shots to start, but once we did we were able to build a lead.

“Ava Fagin was amazing for us all game. She did all the things that don’t show up in the scorebook –-hustle plays, rebounds and defense.I’m so proud of how she played.”

Brewster has a busy week playing at North Salem and Byram Hills and will host Lakeland.

PANAS had a pair of convincing wins, over Peekskill and Sleepy Hollow behind their electric backcourt of Cadence Nicholas and Sofia Tavarez. Nicholas scored a game-best 21 points and Tavarez added 16 points against Peekskill. Tavarez led Panas with 20 points against Sleepy Hollow. Nicholas contributed 19 points and Katie Hofmann added 10 points.

Morgan Clinton of Fox Lane tries to score inside over the defense of Greeley’s Carolina Negrin in the first half of Friday afternoon’s game. Clinton wound up with 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Foxes to a 55-49 home win.

FOX LANE continued its fine play and the result was wins over Lincoln (69-26) and archrival Horace Greeley. Riley New filled the stats’ sheet against Lincoln with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and eight steals. Cara Drapala added 12 points and four assists and Morgan Clinton scored 10 points and also had seven rebounds and five steals.

The 55-49 win over Greeley had Fox Lane coach Kris Matts quite happy with his team.

“With Greeley as our perennial rival, it’s always a special event,” Matts said. “But, to have a doubleheader on a Friday night with the boys made it even more of an occasion. We scored 24 points in the second quarter as Cara Drapala was on fire, slicing through the defense and pulling up from everywhere. Overall, the girls have played with passion all season, but against Greeley, that passion combined with talent, grit and skill and it was a joy to watch.”

LAKELAND began the week with a 65-33 win over Gorton as Nichole Ljuljic netted a game-high 19 points. Ava Lugo added 17 points and Grace Hahn chipped in 11 points. The Hornets followed with setbacks to Pearl River (41-27) and Hen Hud (56-53). Ljuljic led Lakeland with 11 points against Pearl River. Ljuljic and Lugo scored 22 and 20 points, respectively, against Hen Hud.

SOMERS handled Yorktown behind 11 points from Olivia Allegretti and eight points apiece from Lindsay McCullough and Ashley Kuchinsky.

PUTNAM VALLEY won its game, 61-31 over Haldane as Jona Kabashi scored a career-high 30 points and rang up 12 rebounds.

Mahopac’s Ashley Koch and Carmel’s Erin Purr get after a 50-50 ball in Wolf Pac’s 58-31 win over host Rams Wednesday.

BYRAM HILLS opened the week with a 44-33 loss to Nanuet as Grace Corelli scored 15 points and Paige Schiliro added 10 points. The Bobcats did even the week with a 45-32 win over Yorktown as Corelli scored a game-high 21 points and Schiliro finished with 14 points.

HALDANE lost its lone game of the – 60-23 to Beacon in the Battle of the Bridge. Kayla Ruggiero led the Blue Devils with 11 points. Camilla McDaniel and Marisa Peters each had six points.

MAHOPAC improved to 9-5 with a 58-31 win over host CARMEL (2-9).  The Wolf Pac have won six of their last eight.

Coaches are encouraged to contact Tony Pinciaro at for inclusion in our weekly girls’ hoops notebook


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