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Game story: Rye’s pursuit of consistency leads it over Ardsley

Posted By Josh Thomson On January 23, 2013 @ 9:38 pm In Boys Basketball | Comments Disabled

[1]Rye beat Ardsley 62-39 this afternoon at Ardsley High School in a game emblematic of the Garnets’ season. Today, their inconsistency played out in the span of one game. They led 21-4 early, allowed a 10-0 run and erupted for 25 points in the third quarter.

It was just another ho-hum night for Rye, which is a threat in Class A if it can ever deliver for 32 minutes against a quality opponent. Max Twyman, the three Mikes (Garofalo, O’Neill, and D’Antoni) and Andrew Livingston can all score. That’s a dangerous group whenever shots are falling.

Here’s my game story on Rye and its victory today:

[2]ARDSLEY After a strong weekend earned it Mamaroneck’s Sound Shore Classic title, Rye visited Ardsley to confront its greatest adversary: itself.

The up-and-down Garnets, who seem in constant pursuit of greater consistency, quickly found themselves chasing it again. A sluggish second quarter irked coach John Aguilar, who, despite a comfortable lead, told his team comfortable wasn’t good enough.

“There was some yelling, but it was more just telling the boys that if we’re going to be that Class A team that’s one of the contenders, we need to step it up and show it in the third quarter,” Aguilar said.

Indeed, the Garnets erupted for 25 points to take control and went on to beat Ardsley 62-39 Tuesday night.

Max Twyman (pictured right) finished with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds. Mike O’Neill added 15 points and sank three of Rye’s 10 3-pointers.

“We’re trying to be more consistent,” said Twyman. “We’re trying to have hard practices every practice and not take possessions off. That’s been our weakness, taking plays off.”

The Garnets were on early and led 21-4 before they fell into a lull the last five minutes of the half. Ardsley’s Gabe Kardish (13 points) scored to spark a 10-4 Panthers run that was only quieted by Twyman’s tough 3 to end the half.

Point guard Mike Garofalo (pictured upper left, with Kardish) then keyed Rye’s strong third-quarter surge. He facilitated the offense and found open shooters, finishing with 12 assists to go with seven points, six rebounds and four steals.

It propelled the Garnets (8-5) into next week, when they have rival Harrison and one-loss Byram Hills on the schedule.

“I definitely think there’s no team that can beat us when we’re on our game,” Twyman said. “We just have to show that through the end of the season.”

Pressure defense will be key. Rye forced 18 turnovers against Ardsley (3-11), almost all of them before Aguilar pulled the starters just inside the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter.

“We pride ourselves on being aggressive on defense, getting steals,” Garofalo said. “We can’t really rebound. That’s one of our weaknesses because we don’t really have a big man. We just work together. We enjoy playing with each other.”

Ardsley victimized Rye’s undersized front line for 13 offensive rebounds, but the offense continued to struggle. It has been especially quiet since starting point guard John Scrofani was lost for the season when he re-injured his knee over Christmas break.

“We’re not going to dwell on it. We have a big week next week with Eastchester, Sleepy and Woodlands,” first-year coach Josh Javer said. “If we can get one of those league games, we’ll make sectionals. That’s still a reachable goal.”

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[1] Image: http://varsityinsider.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/01/garofalo.jpg

[2] Image: http://varsityinsider.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/01/twyman.jpg