NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The New Rochelle High School boys basketball team edged out a three-point victory against White Plains when the teams met on Jan. 3.
So it came as no surprise to Huguenots’ forward Joe Clarke that the Tigers battled New Rochelle closely for much of Thursday’s rematch.
“We knew they were going to come out fighting just like us,” Clarke said. “We have a bad record just as well as them. So we knew they were going to come out fighting .. so they came into the game thinking they were going to beat us. And that’s what they did. They played a hard-fought game.”
The Tigers hung around, but New Rochelle (7-7) held off White Plains (2-10) for a 54-48 victory in the Huguenots’ gym.
It seemed as though New Rochelle was headed for a comfortable game when they jumped out to a 14-2 lead in the first quarter. But White Plains battled back and had several chances to tie or take the lead in the fourth quarter. Missed shots and untimely turnovers ultimately doomed the Tigers down the stretch.
“We were just trying to take our time with everything but we got lackadaisical. We turned the ball over,” Clarke said. “Can’t do that. We turned the ball over. They capitalized off our turnovers.”
But ultimately, it wasn’t enough. Clarke hit his free throws in the final minute to seal the victory for New Rochelle.
First-year head coach Rasaun Young said the flow of the game did not surprise him one bit.
“I know when we play White Plains, it’s always a grind. It’s always a grind,” Young said. “They’re a very well-coached team, very disciplined when it comes to defense. And we just got off to a hot start today but they always fight back. They always stay in it.”
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for New Rochelle, which lost to Scarsdale and Mount Vernon last week.