Here is my game story from Sleepy Hollow’s win over Nyack, followed by the other results we received Friday night. Saturday’s schedule will be posted right after.
SLEEPY HOLLOW — So it wasn’t the heart-pumping, buzzer-beating, overtime win from last year, but Nick Romeo will still take it.
After having to sweat out a victory over Nyack last season, in which Sleepy Hollow hit a nearly half-court buzzer-beater to force overtime, the Headless Horsemen held off a relentless young Indians squad 54-45 on Friday.
“That was probably one of the most stressful nine-point victories we’ve ever had,” the Sleepy Hollow head coach said (pictured below). “(Nyack) played hard; both teams played real hard. … We hit our layups and we hit our free-throws — that’s a big difference.”
It was the difference.
Sleepy Hollow sank 17 free throws in 28 attempts, while Nyack capitalized on just five of its 17 shots from the charity stripe.
Granted, it wasn’t as fair of a fight as last year, with Nyack’s top three players, Charlotte Sperling, Kate Fischer and Tara Blinn, all likely out for the season.
Returning four of its starters from last year, Sleepy Hollow swarmed Nyack on defense and kept a run-and-gun offense going the entire game. Senior forward Grace Carr did most of the damage for the host, dominating the paint.
“We knew (Nyack) was aggressive, so we prepared to run and throw the ball ahead and look up,” said Carr (pictured right), who finished with a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds. “Everything just clicked; we’re hitting our shots, we were looking up and we were passing well.”
Nyack outscored Sleepy Hollow 21-14 in the final quarter, holding the hosts to just one field goal — a 3-pointer by senior Rebecca Leeper with 2:40 left in regulation.
Sleepy Hollow has high hopes for the season. Its returning experience is one reason, but mainly it’s to redeem itself after a disappointing first-round exit to 15th-seeded Pelham in the Section 1 Class A tournament last season.
The Horsemen brought a 17-2 record and the No. 2 seed into the game, which the Pelicans won 50-43.
“We’re really hungry,” said Sleepy Hollow sophomore forward Vanessa Onwe, who finished with eight points and nine rebounds. “We got it taken away from us in the first round last year. We want it this year.”
All photos were taken by Carucha L. Meuse of The Journal News. Click here to view Carcuha’s entire photo gallery from the game. Here is my video recap:
Best of the rest: Laura Castaldo had 42 points and 13 rebounds for Clarkstown South in an 82-59 win at Tappan Zee. … Jalay Knowles scored 34 points for Ossining in a 82-63 win over visiting Scarsdale. Abby McDonald had 27 points for Scarsdale. … Sabrina Panarese had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Briarcliff in a 61-47 win over Hastings in the first round of the Briarcliff tournament. … Casey Foley had 19 points for Ardsley in a 42-35 win over Somers in the first round of the Ardsley tournament. … Lauren Chafizadeh scored 24 points for Irvington in a 65-52 win at Mamaroneck.
Here are the other scores we received Friday night:
Friday, December 13
Sleepy Hollow 54, Nyack 45
Clarkstown South 82, Tappan Zee 59
Lakeland 47, Cornwall 36
Ossining 82, Scarsdale 63
Irvington 65, Mamaroneck 52
East Ramapo 50, North Salem 29
Ursuline B 52, Yonkers 42
Holy Child 51, Marymount 27
Ardsley 42, Somers 35
Briarcliff 61, Hastings 47
Prediction record tonight: 9-0
Season prediction record: 63-20