Leah Rifas Claire Tierney

Leah Rifas and Claire Tierney battle for a loose against Edgemont on Feb. 17.

After two easy victories to open the season, Ardsley girls’ basketball head coach Nick Resavy knew there was still work to be done to get his team to the next level.

“Totally, there is still a lot of work to do — especially the game within the game,” Resavy said. “We want to continue to get better each and every day and continue working toward our goals.”

He added, “We need to be more consistent. We want to gain that credibility and be able to sustain success and, to do those things, we need consistency.”

After a 78-38 rout of visiting Eastchester to tip off the season on Feb. 16, the Panthers cruised to a 78-32 home victory against Edgemont the next morning.

On Feb. 19, the Panthers took a step up in competition with a visit to Class AA Ossining and battled the Pride for more than three quarters before succumbing, 85-68. Two days later, a road trip to Harrison ended with a 62-53 loss to the host Huskies.

The successive wins to open the schedule showed Ardsley’s potential. 

In the second win, over Edgemont, by the midway point of the first quarter the only question left to be answered was how large the difference on the final scoreboard would read. With Nicole Sanfilippo scoring seven of her game-high 27 points in the opening 4 minutes, Ardsley bolted to a 14-0 lead. By the end of the opening period, the Panthers were in complete control at 20-2.

“Nicole is a great player, but she doesn’t get enough credit for the complete player that she is,” Resavy said. “She gets everyone involved.”

The coach continued, “We have Kelly [Tierney], Claire [Tierney], and Kacey (Bortstein] — three girls who can all shoot the ball and spread the floor. Those girls need some recognition, too.”

While Ardsley’s offense racked up 78 points in each of their first two games, their defense has been overlooked. The Panthers harassed Edgemont into 34 turnovers in a 32-minute game. They also limited Edgemont to 30% (11-of-37) shooting.

Claire Tierney added 14 points for Ardsley in the win over Edgemont, while Kelly Tierney added 13 points. Bortstein and Leah Rifas each chipped in with eight points. Ardsley shot 40% (31-of-78) from the field. Ardsley outrebounded Edgemont, 41-36, including a 22-8 advantage on the offensive glass. Ardsley committed nine turnovers — six in the second half.

“One thing I am happy about is that we have taken good care of the ball in our first two games,” Resavy said.

In Ardsley’s win against Eastchester, Sanfilippo had 24 points, while the Tierney sisters each had 14.

“It was a complete team effort on both sides of the ball,” Resavy said.

In the loss to Ossining, the visiting Panthers led 21-19 after one period. Though Ossining grabbed a 40-33 lead at intermission, the Panthers continued to push and trailed 65-56 heading into the final quarter.

“I’m super proud of the effort the girls displayed today,” Resavy said after the loss at Ossining. “They know we aren’t satisfied with moral victories, but it was an important step in becoming the team we ultimately want to become.”

Claire Tierney had six treys and finished with 23 points to pace Ardsley. Sanfilippo had 15 points, nine assists, and six rebounds, while Kelly Tierney chipped in with a dozen points.

Sanfilippo led Ardsley with 25 points in the loss at Harrison.

“Credit to Harrison, they came out of the gates ready to go and took it to us early,” Resavy said. “It’s a learning experience for us and we will be better from it.”

Hastings 67, Irvington 40: Melannie Daley poured in 32 points as the host Yellow Jackets rolled to the season-opening win on Feb. 20. Paige Martin added 15 points, while Lindsay Drozd chipped in with 13.

The Yellow Jackets bolted to a 14-5 lead after one quarter, 34-11 at halftime, and 46-26 after three quarters.

Katie LeBuhn had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Irvington, while Grace Thybulle, who was in foul trouble in the first half, added 13 points, 10 boards, and three blocks. Aine Cleary chipped in with seven points.

“Not the way [we wanted to start the season], but we have to learn from it and keep working,” Irvington head coach Gina Maher said. “Hastings is a very good team that played very well all afternoon. They have an excellent up-tempo game that involves all their players.”

She continued, “We had a very rough start with too many turnovers, and Hastings took advantage of that. On the positive side, we didn’t give up and played them well in the second half.”

Irvington 42, Dobbs Ferry 39: Thybulle had 15 points and a dozen rebounds as host Irvington edged Dobbs Ferry on Feb. 23. LeBuhn added nine points and 10 boards.

“It was close throughout all four quarters,” Maher said. “Both teams played hard — a good game for the start for this unusual season.”

Julia Schwabe scored 22 points for Dobbs Ferry, who were playing their season opener. Kayla Halvorsen added 12 points.

“Irvington was better than us down the stretch,” Dobbs Ferry head coach Stephanie Mills said. “We had awful turnovers in the last 4 minutes — we can’t do that against a good team like Irvington. After only six practices, we played hard. We’ll get there!”

Hastings 80, Woodlands 27: The host Yellow Jackets had three players in double figures on Feb. 23. Daley led the with 19 points and eight rebounds. Drozd added 18 points and eight boards. Paige Martin finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Team records through Feb. 23): Hastings 2-0; Ardsley 2-2; Irvington 1-1; Dobbs Ferry 0-1

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