Young Mahopac Team Still Learning the Ropes

Claire Felix takes a free throw. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

MAHOPAC, N.Y. — The second meeting this season against Yorktown was another scrappy affair, but the hustling Mahopac Indians fell 53-38 this time on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

“The one thing I was happy about is that nobody just decided to not work hard,” Mahopac coach Chuck Scozzafava said. “We continued to work hard and nobody gave up. That’s character-building that we are trying to do.”

Stretching out a 27-16 edge at halftime, Yorktown’s continuous full-court press wore down an inexperienced Mahopac team which committed more than 25 turnovers.

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“The positive is that we have a lot of girls playing in big games,” Scozzafava said. “We are hoping these minutes will be fruitful for us down the stretch. But when you have young kids, there are going to be a lot of mistakes.”

Zina McInerney’s corner jumper from Katie McDonough snipped the deficit to seven points with five minutes left in the third quarter.

But that was as close as the Indians would get, since the hot-shooting Huskers ended the third on a 13-7 run.

They also limited Mahopac (3-5) to just six fourth-quarter points, feasting on ill-advised passes and pushing the fast break to draw a total of 15 fouls.

“Amanda [McCarney] did a nice job [after returning from injury],” Scozzafava said. “Her first day of practice was yesterday, and we did not want to use her as much as we did. When you run into foul trouble it’s because the young kids are not moving their feet.”

Junior forward Claire Felix played spectacular once again, recording 25 points on 11 of 13 free-throw shooting. She bucketed a layup off a spin move to make it 51-38 with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

“Claire has been our main offensive threat,” Scozzafava said. “We were not as balanced today. She was doing it all. We needed to hit some outside shots.”

Felix has now penciled a whopping 59 points within the last three contests.

“Having an increased role is a little bit pressuring,” Felix said. “But it gave me a lot more confidence knowing that other players look up to me and give me the ball sometimes.”

Someone who is accustomed to the important role is senior point guard Amanda Geyer, who is expected to return from a sprained ankle following the holiday break.

Defensive minded guard Samantha Colatruglio has been working on passing the ball more efficiently along with McDonough.

“Sam does a nice job defensively,” Scozzafava said. “We have two young guards and they tend to turn the ball over, but it did not stop her from playing good defense. It’s a character thing. We try to instill in them that you should never give up, and that there is always something you can do to help your team.”

McInerney scored five points, while McCarney and Siobhan Hynes registered four apiece.

Indians’ senior forward Allison Reilly is still nursing a concussion, and will most likely return in a couple of weeks.

“Allison is not a big scorer,” Scozzafava said. “But she is the type of girl who gets dirty. She does all of the little things like rebounding and does a nice job defensively.”

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