Girls Basketball Greenwich earns 1st win
RYE, N.Y. — It’s usually a positive sign for a basketball team when it receives points from numerous players and such was the case Saturday for Greenwich High School’s girls squad.
Seeing East Ramapo stay within striking distance for the first three quarters of Saturday’s matchup, the Cardinals used their scoring depth and a solid defensive effort to gain much-needed separation in the final quarter.
Nine players filled the scorebook for Greenwich, which earned its first win of the season — a 60-46 victory over East Ramapo in the consolation game of the Rye Rotary Holiday Classic at Rye (N.Y.) High School.
Greenwich, which dropped a 51-30 decision to Rye High School in the opening round of the tournament on Friday night, is 1-2 on the young season.
Cardinals freshman forward Kelly Martyanov scored 11 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Junior guard/tri-captain Jordan Moses totaled 11 points, while senior center/tri-captain Taylor Stamos registered five points and nine rebounds for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals held a 29-24 halftime lead and headed into the fourth quarter with a 47-39 advantage. They scored the first 10 points of the final quarter to seize a commanding 57-39 edge. Still, as was the case in their loss against Rye on Friday and their season-opening defeat against Trinity Catholic, turnovers hampered the Cardinals on Saturday.
“It’s good to know we have our first win, but I don’t think it’s the performance we wanted to have,” Moses said. “We could have executed better than we did.”
The majority of Greenwich’s double-figure turnovers came on errant passes.
“We had the right idea a lot of the time, but we just had unforced turnovers and gave it away,” Moses said. “Offensively, we did a lot better today with driving and ripping to the middle, so we’re improving.”
Indeed, the Cardinals were solid offensively, getting a significant boost from their bench. Sophomore forward Beatriz Owens scored 11 points, while sophomore guard Nealia Maheia added seven points off the bench. Greenwich got 25 points from its reserves, overall.
“We were subbing five in, five out, looking to get the combination that gave us the best effort,” GHS coach Chrys Hernandez said. “Several players were aggressive and attacked the basket.”
Sophomore guard Dab Gazemar had nine points, sophomore guard Nora Nelson had 10 points and senior forward Thirsta Jean-Charles scored eight to pace the Lady Titans (1-3).
Senior forward Thirsta Jean-Charles swished a pair of free throws, pulling East Ramapo to within 45-39 with 16 seconds left in the third quarter. From there, Greenwich went on a 12-0 run, spanning 5:26, to open a 57-39 lead.
Stamos banked in a shot, junior guard Julia Conforti converted two foul shots and Moses made a layup off a steal, making it 53-39 just over three minutes into the fourth quarter. Senior guard/tri-captain Michelle Morganti, sophomore guard Marielle Povinelli and Maheia combined to make four free throws, putting East Ramapo in a 57-39 hole.
Turnovers were also an issue for East Ramapo, which was tested by Greenwich’s full-court press and aggressive man-to-man and zone defenses.
“A win is a win, it’s nice to get that marked checked off,” Hernandez said. “But we did not play to the level that we expected to play. Our team knew that and they raised their intensity in the second half. Defensively, it showed in the third quarter.”
QUITE A COMBINATION
Martyanov and Owens helped pace the Cards’ offense in the opening half. Owens had six first-half points, while Martyanov scored all nine of her points in the opening half.
Converting a layup, while being fouled, then making her free throw attempt, Owens gave GHS the lead for good at 13-11 with 49.4 seconds left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Moses scored in transition and Martyanov made back-to-back baskets, the second of which came off a length of the floor pass of the press-breaker from freshman Violet Mikalopas, putting the Cards ahead, 19-15.
“Kelly (Martyanov) is doing a great job as a first-year varsity player,” Hernandez said. “She wants to learn and is hungry. Bea (Owens) is a spark off the bench, who is extremely consistent.”
The Lady Titans cut Greenwich’s lead to 29-24 at halftime after Nelson made two foul shots, but Moses began the second half by hitting a 3-pointer and Conforti converted a steal into a layup, extended the Cardinals’ lead.
“Defensively, we were pretty strong throughout the game,” Martyanov said. “We are definitely communicating much more and we forced turnovers, which is good. But we need to stop fouling.”
Junior Kate Loughran scored six points off the bench, while Conforti, who started, finished with six points.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Martyanov, Moses and Owens led the Cardinals’ offensively, coming up with clutch baskets whenever East Ramapo came close.
“Defensively, our communication was a lot better and we were moving around a lot better,” Moses said. “We’re improving.”