NEW ROCHELLE — Beth Wooters has won 495 games during her nearly three-decade career as Ursuline’s girls basketball coach, so naturally she doesn’t remember all of them.
This one, she will.
Not because it was a back-and-forth game that finally fell in her team’s favor.
Not even because it was against New Rochelle, a rival school that sits a mere mile down the road along North Avenue.
This win will stand out because it was on the same day she was inducted into Ursuline’s Hall of Fame, the inaugural class of the Koalas’ program.
“I told the girls, I feel like we were on the wrong side of a speed bump and we got over that bump (Saturday),” said Wooters, who was honored along with track coach Jan Mitchell (both pictured below) before the Koalas’ 47-43 win. “I thought that we executed when we needed to and I think that our defense worked well — it was an all-around team win.”
Wooters, winner of two state championships and six NYSPHSAA coach of the year awards, said that when she initially heard about the induction in October, she had hoped it would’ve been a team induction, rather than her individually.
“I’m not one for accolades, but I was honored,” she said.
Wooters had plenty of support at Ursuline on Saturday. Her son Luke was home during his holiday break at Nazareth College, her daughter Carly, a senior at Ursuline, is the team’s manager, and several of her former players were also in attendance.
Keira Keane, Arianna Apostolopoulos, Nora Byrne, Caroline Spillane, Lauren Biolsi and Susan Kern were just some of the Ursuline alumni who were there to see their former coach honored.
Following the first half of the game, however, it was beginning to look like the Koalas wouldn’t have a happy ending to the heartwarming day. Ursuline was outscored 20-8 in the second quarter, forcing a seven-point deficit at the break.
That’s when the Ursuline defense kicked in.
The Koalas held the Huguenots to just 12 points in the second half, headlined by a one-point third quarter to force a tied game heading into the fourth quarter. Clinging to a three-point lead in the final minute, Camille Brooks poked a ball loose from New Rochelle and was picked up by teammate Korina Guerra, who broke for the net.
“(The win) meant so much. We really wanted this for our coach,” said Guerra, a freshman making her debut on the Varsity A squad. “She’s a big part of our team and always wants us to get better.”
Anna Savino led all scorers with 17 points. Amirror Dixon led New Rochelle with 10 points, all of which were scored in the second quarter.
Here is Wooters’ Hall of Fame induction speech:
Best of the rest: Mairead Hynes scored 27 points and 16 rebounds for Mahopac in a 60-59 win over previously undefeated Beacon. … Dana Moretti and Ashley Holden each scored 17 points for Pelham in a 58-40 win over Hastings in the consolation game of the Briarcliff tournament. … Kiera Hennessy had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Kennedy in a 76-46 win over Monsignor Scanlon. Laura Castaldo scored 23 points for Clarkstown South in a 57-29 win over Clarkstown North. … Amy Glashoff scored 14 points for Hen Hud in a 54-45 win over Panas. … Kelly Oliver scored 14 points for Carmel in a 54-36 loss to Arlington.
Saturday, January 4
Clarkstown South 57, Clarkstown North 29
Mahopac 60, Beacon 59
Ursuline 47, New Rochelle 43
Arlington 54, Carmel 36
Hen Hud 54, Panas 45
Tappan Zee 68, Ardsley 65, OT
Consolation: Pelham 58, Hastings 40
Championship: Hackley 60, Briarcliff 48