The Red Hook Lady Raiders Jan. 10 basketball showdown with visiting FDR High had huge drama on the court with large lead changes and a coach so irate he drew a technical foul. It also had a surprise ending as the Lady Raiders, trailing by 10, exploded out of the gates in the second half to gain control and win by 49-42.
“They just showed so much heart in the second half,” Red Hook head coach Pam White said after the game.
It didn’t seem that way in the first half. After Red Hook went 6-0 to open up the game, the tide turned, and the far-bigger Lady Presidents went wild under the basket. FDR also clogged the middle well in the opening minutes, forcing Red Hook to settle for outside shots after their short run. FDR’s Kayla O’Grady sank the team’s final hoop of the quarter, to give them a 14-10 lead.
In the second quarter, a pair of FDR threes sunk Red for a while, before Lady Raider Julianne Wilkinson dropped a trey. Red Hook’s guards went after the basket on set offenses, but could really only make buckets happen on fast breaks, including a Marist Parr-to-Julianne Wilkinson-to-Jessica Wilkinson break in the final two minutes. But FDR went into the half still comfortably up, 30-20.
From the third quarter on, it was a completely different game. Red Hook not only hung 12 points on the now-heavily pressed Lady Presidents, but they held FDR to zero points on the quarter; Parr had the go-ahead basket, on a set shot from 15 feet at 3:30 to put the Lady Raiders back in control, and they finished the quarter 32-30.
And it wasn’t just the players on the floor who were feeling the heat. FDR head coach Cliff Sauer, who by late in the quarter had removed his tie and untucked his shirt, got called for a technical for kicking the bleachers after a rough FDR play.
“I thought we played well — executed so well — in the first half, but we lost it. It was just a tale of two cities,” Sauer told the Observer after the game. “We didn’t execute in the second half, not sure why. Nerves? I don’t know; I was a little surprised.”
White, on the other hand, said her team talked at halftime “about our intensity on defense, and silly mistakes we were making. If we were going to win, we were going to have to shut them down defensively and keep them off the offensive boards, which I think we did better in the second half.”
The Lady Presidents tried to pull things together throughout the fourth quarter, coming within one point of the Lady Raiders twice in the period, but a wild and-one for Julianne Wilkinson put Red up 41-37. After a timeout and foul-heavy last two minutes, Red Hook came away with the 49-42 win.
“They came out and pressed us really well,” said Allison Pritchard, who led FDR in scoring with 13 points. “They noticed in our last game that we had trouble breaking the press, so they did a great job with that. They played fast, and we had to play faster, but we couldn’t. It was a rough game.”
Julianne Wilkinson led all scorers with 26 points on the night.