RYE — After giving upset-minded Sleepy Hollow a head start in the first quarter of Wednesday’s Class A quarterfinal, third-seeded Rye got hot and never cooled down.
The Garnets put themselves into an 11-point hole in the first quarter before Maddie Eck caught fire and the rest of her team followed on the way to a lopsided 62-37 win, clinching a trip to the County Center to play No. 2 Albertus Magnus in the semifinals on Wednesday.
“We definitely got off to a really slow start,” said Eck (pictured below, left). “It was just jitters, you know, nerves. We weren’t playing defense like we usually play, and our offense really wasn’t happening for us. But we really turned it around and made a great comeback. I’m really proud of what we did.”
The sixth-seeded Headless Horsemen jumped out to a 13-2 lead behind a strong start from Grace Carr (pictured above, right) but Rye finished the first quarter on an 11-2 run to cut its deficit to just 15-13 going into the second.
“I think we weren’t ready, necessarily, for them to play zone,” Rye point guard Rachel Egan said. “We were expecting them to come out in man, so we had a shaky start. But we ended up picking it up and settling into a groove. They were pressing and we were able to break the press and get a few easy buckets.”
It was Eck who sparked the comeback, scoring nine of her 17 points in the first quarter.
“I think we needed something to get the team going and give us a little more confidence,” said Eck, who also added five rebounds. “It was 8-0 at one point, so I think my points just gave the team a lot of confidence to keep shooting.”
The Garnets rode that momentum into the second quarter, outscoring Sleepy Hollow 23-4 to build up a lead that they would maintain for the rest of the game.
“That was really big,” forward Katie Popp said. “We got really excited. All of our shots kept going in and we kept playing together.”
Popp led the way with 19 points, including three 3s. Egan did a little bit of everything, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Alanna Morque chipped in seven points and seven boards.
Carr led Sleepy with 18 points.
“It makes my job so much easier as a point guard, knowing that your wing players and forwards are hitting shots,” Egan said. “It makes everyone feel a lot more comfortable.”
Written by: Vince Z. Mercogliano
All photos in this game were taken by Frank Becerra Jr. of The Journal News. Click here to view the entire photo gallery from this game.
Here are the other results we received tonight:
Beacon 60, Tappan Zee 57, OT: In the Class A quarterfinals at No. 1 Beacon, the No. 9 Dutchies fell in overtime despite getting 25 points from Kristen McLaughlin and 16 points from Jillian Lynch.
Peekskill 64, Ardsley 57: In the Class A quarterfinals at No. 4 Peekskill, Lanay Rodney hit for 22 points and Latisha Clark added 12 for the No. 4 Red Devils, who will play No. 1 Beacon in the semifinals at the County Center Wednesday.