Pearl River girls takes down rival TZ
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ORANGEBURG, N.Y. – Any time you get to the home stretch of the basketball season it gets tough. When you’re facing a gauntlet like Pearl River is facing this week, it is almost impossible to come out unscathed.
The Lady Pirates face rivals Tappan Zee, Albertus Magnus, and top-ranked Ossining within five days. Consider test No. 1 complete.
Pearl River avenged its only loss of the season on Monday, outlasting Tappan Zee, 56-53, on the road in a girls basketball showdown.
“We have a really tough week this week and we wanted to start off strong,” Pirates forward Christy Carty said. “We knew we had to play hard and strong to deal with their height.”
Carty and Kerry Sullivan had to match the toughness and skill of Tappan Zee six-footers Devona Paul and Val DiMuro, who combined for 17 points, 21 rebounds, and eight blocks.
“Christy and I worked really hard in practice this week with boxing out and rebounding,” Sullivan, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds, said. “We know how strong they are down low and wanted to match that.”
Hanging on to a 56-53 lead in the final 1:45 of the game, Pearl River relied on its draining press that it kept on all game long. The Lady Pirated racked up 16 steals in the game and forced 24 turnovers.
On the game’s final possession, Tappan Zee had three looks at the basket including a contested 3-pointer by Regina Argenzio. The senior point guard, who has a knack for hitting big shots, just missed. Aregnzio finished with 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Erica Richards added 15 points in the loss.
Pearl River took its first lead, 7-6, early in the first quarter on a Missy Scognamiglio 3-pointer. Despite answers from Tappan Zee all night, and even a few tie scores, the Lady Dutchmen could never wrestle the lead back.
“We were not going to lose this game,” Sullivan said. “We had it in our minds the whole time; we just had to keep answering.”
With Christa Scognamiglio being harassed by athletic forward Kristen McLaughlin all night, it was sharp shooting Allison Cook who did most of the answering. The senior guard scored a game-high 23 points and hit five 3-pointers.
Cook also had four assists and two steals. With two minutes left if the game, Cook drilled her biggest three of the night. With a 53-51 lead, Cook ended up alone on the left elbow and buried it. Tappan Zee quickly scored again, but the Cook three ended up as the difference in the game.
“When Allison is on, she is on,” Carty said. “She’s a great shooter and very reliable under pressure.”
The victory over Tappan Zee felt sweet to Pearl River considering the Lady Dutchmen handed the Pirates their only loss of the season. A win over Albertus Magnus on Wednesday gives Pearl River the league title. A loss equals a three-way tie between the rivals.
“It was awesome to get revenge in this game,” Sullivan said. “The title is definitely up for grabs now, anyone can win it.”
Email John Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @MSGV_Malone