MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Chuck Scozzafava and his Mahopac Indians hoped that a 54-46 road triumph over Arlington just a day earlier would fuel them against visiting Clarkstown South on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Instead, they lacked unity on both sides of the ball in a 58-45 defeat to the Vikings for the second time this season.
“It was a game of inconsistency on offense,” Scozzafava said. “Defensively, we had spurts of playing well. We got worn down in the fourth quarter and we were not playing as a unit. We were sloppy with the ball and standing around on offense. We always tell the girls that it’s five people playing as one. Today, we were disjointed.”
The Indians pieced together a solid first quarter, controlling the paint to grab a 16-10 lead.
Clarkstown South knocked down four of its five 3-pointers in the second quarter, taking advantage of Mahopac’s lack of offensive movement.
After finding themselves down 31-25 at halftime, matters turned even bleaker for the Indians when Vikings’ point guard Victoria Kurisko zoomed coast-to-coast for a layup that put them down by 11 points midway through the third quarter.
Mahopac ended the quarter on an electrifying 10-3 run. Senior point guard Amanda Geyer quickly tossed to sophomore guard Zina McInerney, who splashed the three-ball that made it a seven-point deficit with a minute and-a-half remaining in the third.
As Mahopac’s defense started to intensify, the red-hot McInerney cut Clarkstown South’s lead to four after swishing another triple on a dish from junior Siobhan Hynes.
“At halftime our coaches told us we need to pick up the pace and play our game,” McInerney said. “When my cousin [Kim Schiera] got hurt earlier in the season, I came into her position and really wanted to play up to her level.”
Geyer’s three-point attempt at the third-quarter buzzer rolled off the rim and out as the Indians trailed 39-35 entering the fourth.
Earning her redemption, Geyer banked in a long three which pulled Mahopac within two points as the clock read four minutes.
Mahopac ran into a brick wall from there, giving up an 11-0 run and scoring only two more points in the game.
“We let that little fire go that could have been the embers to get us going again,” Scozzafava said. “We didn’t feed off each other. We weren’t trusting on our close-outs defensively and our hands were down. We explain to the girls that the team is interdependent on each other.”
Felix and Geyer paced the Indians with 12 points apiece. Geyer nailed three shots from downtown while Felix canned five free throws.
McInerney scored all eight of her points in the third quarter and senior forward Amanda McCarney recorded six points. Senior Allison Reilly added four points while Hynes had three.
Mahopac’s second win over Arlington this season was completely different, since it bounced back after trailing by 12 points in the first quarter. It outscored the Admirals 33-19 in the second half.
“It was a nice second half effort,” Scozzafava said. “The girls stayed together and it was a nice win. I told the girls at halftime that we need to control their guards and keep the ball on the side. We switched from the zone press to straight man.”
Felix led the Indians to victory, scoring 21 points. Geyer totaled 15 points with 13 of them coming in the second half. McCarney scored eight points down low and McInerney netted six.
The Indians (9-8), who have clinched second place in their league, travel to New Rochelle on Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. New Rochelle defeated Mahopac in the quarterfinals of last year’ Class AA sectionals. The Indians then host Clarkstown North at 6 p.m. on Feb. 13.