By Nancy Haggerty
And, ultimately, it was.
But the Briarcliff girls basketball team gave Ardsley a game for one half, anyway, on Wednesday before falling to Casey Foley and the rest of the Panthers 63-38.
Foley (pictured right) gets special mention because the junior simply dominated.
She drove the lane but was equally impressive from the outside, burying a couple of 3s en route to 27 points.
“An explosive player; a player who can do a lot of things well on the basketball court,” Ardsley coach Mike Pollio said of Foley, who joined his varsity as an eighth-grader.
With the visiting Bears ice cold in the first quarter — Carly Fanelli (10 points) scored Briarcliff’s first bucket after nearly five minutes had elapsed — Ardsley took a 10-6 lead. Foley scored six of those points, two coming after she drove end to end after grabbing a defensive rebound.
But Briarcliff hung tough and went into the half trailing only 22-18.
That, though, was as close as the Bears would come as Ardsley’s defense (six blocked shots) took over and its offense came alive.
Isabella DePasquale (nine points), who couldn’t buy a bucket early in the game, hit two of her three 3s in the third quarter as Ardsley pulled away to a 45-33 lead.
“I’ve learned over the years if you don’t think you can score, you won’t score,” DePasquale said, explaining her willingness to keep shooting.
Both teams got into foul trouble and that proved especially costly for Briarcliff because coach Don Hamlin (pictured below) then had to limit Grace Orr’s minutes. Orr, who eventually fouled out with five points, had been assigned to cover Foley.
“They just have to learn hands-off,” Hamlin said, although he indicated a bigger problem was his team’s inability to convert its scoring opportunities.
Jackie Contento had nine points for the Bears but none in the fourth quarter when Briarcliff was outscored 18-5
“Our defense helps to pick us up,” Foley said. “We get out of our offensive funk when we play better defense.”
All photos from this game were taken by Frank Becerra Jr. of The Journal News. Click here to view the entire photo gallery, which features 65 shots of the action.