WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.— After falling behind 17-3, Somers rallied to trim its deficit with Rye to just seven points at halftime, but the Garnets pulled away in the second half to hand the Tuskers a 58-44 defeat at the Westchester County Center on Dec. 23.

“We need to come out of the gate stronger,” said junior point guard Gio Tradito, who led Somers with 10 points. “We went down 17-3 and had to crawl back into the game little by little, despite making it a seven-point game at the half. Another thing we learned is we have to execute what we want to do and our game plan better. We got out of sorts at times and it was a killer against a good team like Rye.”

The Tuskers trailed 24-17 at halftime, but turnovers plagued Somers in the third quarter. Rye took a 38-22 lead with 2:09 left in the third.

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A Kevin Olifiers jumper and Tradito layup cut the unbeaten Garnets’ lead to 41-26 after three quarters.

Chris DiCintio scored on a fast break layup and Stefano Bicknese knocked down a 3-pointer, but the Tuskers weren’t able to cut the deficit to less than 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Despite the loss, the Tuskers relished the experience of playing at the County Center, which hosts the sectional semifinals and finals each season.

“The experience playing at the County Center was awesome,” Tradito said. “It’s something we can’t take for granted knowing not many teams get that opportunity.”

Somers was held to just 15 second-half points in a 73-54 loss to visiting Our Lady of Lourdes on Dec. 21. Tradito paced the Tuskers with 17 points.

James Anozie led the Warriors with 22 points.

The Tuskers defeated Roosevelt 76-57 on Dec. 19 behind 17 points from Tradito and 16 from Marc Maestri.

DiCintio and Jack Gilroy added 11 points apiece.

After a 3-3 start, the Tuskers know there is plenty to focus on over the holiday break.

“Our team needs to work on the fundamentals of basketball,” Tradito said. “If we do that the stuff we run offensively will come easier to us. Secondly, we need to pick up our energy and be more physical with teams. Having seven football players, it shouldn’t be a problem but it has been for us getting beat on the boards the past couple of games and letting up way too many points defensively.”