First off, Happy New Year to all ye LoHud hoops faithful! I hope the holiday season was a happy and healthy one for all of you. It’s good to be back on the beat after some much-appreciated vacation time. Big props to the rest of the staff who helped out in my absence, especially during the Slam Dunk tournament. Double props to Phil for manning everything virtually solo.
Here are my post game notes from today’s Rockland hoops contest between East Ramapo at Clarkstown North:
NEW CITY — Clarkstown North rallied in the second half to defeat East Ramapo 48-42 Wednesday night at home. You can read more about the game here.
In the lede to my story I talked about the obvious surge of Clarkstown North in the second half, in which the Rams outscored East Ramapo 28-19, but most notably 17-9 in the final quarter. The Rams were hot on both sides of the ball, drawing back-to-back charges to open the fourth quarter, resulting in a big momentum shift.
Clarkstown North (2-4) managed to notch their second win of the season despite playing without two of their top starters.
Leading scorer Nikki Petri was attending the wake of her uncle, and fellow veteran Nicole Santamaria was out with an ankle injury. Originally slated to be played at 5:30 p.m. following the junior varsity game, the schedule was flipped so that the varsity team could play earlier so that team members could also attend the wake.
Rams coach Kerry Sullivan was more than pleased with her team’s performance.
“Some of the girls don’t play as many minutes as they played tonight — they stepped in for some of the starters,” Sullivan said. “It’s hard to lose those core people, but I’m really proud of the girls that stepped in and played tonight; we played every girl we had available.”
With the older vets out, it was the sophomores who did the damage for Clarkstown North. Sophomore Gabrielle (Belle) Jarrett drilled four 3-pointers as part of a 17-point performance to lead all scorers.
“We didn’t really box out well,” she said of the team’s first half struggles. “We played more as a team in the last half.”
Jarrett’s second 3-pointer of the final quarter broke a 42-42 tie, giving the Rams what would eventually be the game-winning basket. The sophomore iced the game with a free-throw with 32.6 seconds left for the final score of the game.
Fellow sophomore Erin Ryder recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds despite sitting most of the final quarter in foul trouble. Ryder’s aggressive driving to the hoop on offense sent her to the line 11 times during the game.
“I knew (East Ramapo) would likely hack me as soon as I would drive to the basket, so my mindset was just, ‘Go straight to the basket, look as far as I could, or for anyone open,'” she said.
Ryder said she used her time on the bench to reflect on what got her there in the first place.
“I was trying to look at what other people were doing to see if I made the same mistakes as they did and see how I can work on them,” she said.
When she checked back into the game, Ryder had her game plan.
“Be more careful, definitely,” she said. “Not be less aggressive, just be cleaner.”
East Ramapo coach Austin Goldberg said the team’s foul trouble has been an unfortunate trend.
“We’re usually in foul trouble all the time,” Goldberg said. “Every year we’re in foul trouble — that’s just the way it is.”
The Lady Titans (3-4) had four players with at least three fouls, including Daynara Wilson, who fouled out in the fourth quarter. The Lady Titans were led by Stephanie Rodriguez, who scored 10 points in the loss. Both Deangie Jimenez and Kiah (pronounced Key-uh) Armstrong chipped in eight points for East Ramapo.
After a strong first half, Armstrong was shut down in the second half and did not score a single point. Following a fight for the ball, Armstrong hit her head on the floor hard, and had to be taken out of the game.
The school trainer took a look at Armstrong to make sure she was alright, but had her sidelined for most of the closing minutes.
“(Kiah) was fine, but for some reason the trainer thought she was in charge and didn’t want to clear her when it wasn’t her call,” Goldberg said. “She was was ready to go, but the trainer decided to hold her out, which is unfortunate.”
While Armstrong’s absence from the court in the final four minutes was a huge loss for the Lady Titans, Goldberg said her playing was not worth the risk.
“I didn’t know it was not the trainer’s call (whether or not Armstrong could play), so that was my fault,” he said. “Better safe than sorry — it’s a long season ahead.”
Goldberg does not expect Armstrong to miss any playing time and said she should be in the lineup for their next contest.
By the numbers: East Ramapo (3-4) at Clarkstown North (2-4)
Built Ram tough: Clarkstown North went to the line 25 times Wednesday night, including 21 trips in just the second half. Granted, the Lady Titans took 18 shots of their own from the charity stripe, but it was the Rams who took advantage of the opportunities given to them.
— Clarkstown North made 18-of-26 shots, a percentage of 69.2 for the game.
— East Ramapo was just 11-of-18 from the line, a percentage of 61.1 for the game.
Da, da, da, da, da dum, CHARGE! The Rams drew four charges in the win, while the Lady Titans did not draw one.
Run it: After leading by three at the half, the Titans opened the second half on a 5-0 run, bumping their lead to eight. From that point on, the Rams went on a 28-14 run, including a 6-0 run to end the game.
Streak broken: After my latest covered contest (Tappan Zee at Clarkstown South), I noticed that in games I covered, the team who scored first, wound up leading the entire game en route to victory. Being that today featured a comeback win, that streak has now been snapped.
Wednesday, January 2
Clarkstown North 48, East Ramapo 42
Brewster 54, Putnam Valley 34
John Jay-East Fishkill 65, John Jay 47
Today’s record: 3-0
Season record: 65-22