Rye Country Day ends Sacred Heart's season in FAA semifinals
Updated 11:40 pm, Friday, February 22, 2013
RYE, N.Y. -- After winning the FAA title last year, the Convent of the Sacred Heart basketball team was in the unfamiliar position of beginning the season as the team everyone else was gunning for.
Coach Sean Green knew this would be the case and let his team know the bull's-eye would be large. The Tigers would have to work harder defending the title than they did winning it if Sacred Heart hoped to repeat in an improved FAA.
"That is the first thing (Green) told us at the beginning of the season, he said, `everyone is out to get us,'" Tigers senior Kayla Souza said. "There are incredible teams in this league and incredible players and everyone was focusing on beating us, so, it was tough but we fought, though."
RCD's Carolyn Binder led all scorers with 17 points while the Tigers (13-7) were led by Emily O'Sullivan's 12.
O'Sullivan scored nine points in the first half, using her size down low to control play in the paint, but RCDS adjusted in the second half and was able to limit her touchese, forcing the Tigers to fire away from outside, from where they only hit three 3s for the game.
It was a game of runs as the Wildcats opened up an early 10-4 lead before the Tigers came back to tie it at 10-10.
RCDS (20-4) then ended the first half on a 10-2 run to take a 27-19 lead into the half.
Green felt the problems the Tigers had against RCDS were the same ones plaguing them all season.
"We have been out of sync all season," Green said. "We weren't as hungry as we were last year and you can't work on the season once you get here. You have to work during the offseason. A lot of the teams we play got a lot better from last year, and we just have to realize that over the summer is when championships are taken."
The Tigers rallied again, tying the score 30-30 with 6:12 left in the game but RCDS was able to slowly build the lead back up. Once the Tigers stated fouling with a little over a minute left, the Wildcats sealed their win by calming converting their foul shots.
Sacred Heart never held the lead in the game and the contest was only tied three times throughout.
Green has turned around a Heart team that was routinely at the bottom of the standings, and Souza has been there through the highs and lows, knowing she leaves a much better program than she joined as a freshman.
"When I was a freshman we won, like, two games," Souza said. "To have won both the league and the tournament when I was a junior was incredible and we did a lot of good things this season, too. I am very proud of my team and I am excited to come back in the following years and see how much they continue to improve and how much they have grown."
email@example.com; 203-625-4458; http://twitter.com/greenwichsports/
Rye Country Day 41, Convent of the Sacred Heart 35
RYE CDS (20-4)
Zoe Verni 2 0-0 4; Tara Berger 4 0-2 8; Maria McEnroe 1 0-0 2; Nereida Mendez 3 1-2 8; Carolyn Binder 5 5-7 17; Melanie Mandell 0 0-0 0; Jenn Howland 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 6-11 41
SACRED HEART (13-7)
3-point field goals: RCDS -- Binder 2, Mendez; CSH -- Souza, Claire O'Neil, Colleen O'Neil
RYE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL 27 14--41
CONVENT OF THE SACRED HEART 19 16--35
Fouled out: None