Photo Credit Elizabeth Howard
After Slow Start Mariners Cruise to Victory Over Wildcats in Conference Semifinal
ROCKY HILL – 71, DUBLIN – 33
In game 1 of the SENE playoffs, Rocky Hill Country Day hosted the Dublin School in a rematch of an early season game where our Mariners had everything clicking. History will tell you that the rematch of a game like that would never be an easy one and history proved itself to be accurate. Dublin came out aggressively, shooting early and often, putting pressure on the home team. But Sophie Mahar ‘25 (Wakefield, RI) started out hot, scoring 8 1st quarter points, setting up our 15-11 lead after the first 8 minutes.
We trailed 19-20 with 4:15 minutes left in the 2nd quarter before Darien Kiernan ‘26 (Cranston, RI) drained a huge 3-pointer in the corner off of great ball movement. The trey sparked a 13-3 run that saw continued sharing of the ball and an aggressiveness on the offensive boards, led by Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine) with 3 consecutive put-back baskets off of missed shots. As a team we had 15 offensive rebounds in the half, with Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) and Dariia each grabbing 5. Things were looking up as our Mariners went into the 2nd half with a 32-23 lead and the momentum of the last 4 minutes.
Aliona Nikulina ‘27 (Kyiv, Ukraine) had an outstanding 3rd quarter with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists as we got out on the break. The transition offense was key as we outscored our opponents 21-5 in the 3rd, putting the game out of reach at 53-28. Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) was the benefactor of a couple of those assists as she also scored 6 in the quarter.
The 4th quarter was a story of continued dominance on the offensive glass and focus ball movement on offense. Ju’elle West ‘24 (Providence, RI) had a big quarter with 6 points (and a 10 rebound night). Aliona also had 6 points while she took advantage of great positioning and a strong shooting night.
In total, we outscored our opponent 39-10 in the final half and we did it once we got the ball moving to our open scorers. Even the missed shots worked in our favor as we set season highs with an incredible 33 offensive rebounds and 63 rebounds in total. Every player on the team scored and, even better, every player on the team had at least 1 rebound and assist. It was a great response to the early difficulties caused by an inspired Dublin team.
Our girls now wrap up the regular season by traveling to Bancroft on Thursday night before they head to St Andrew’s in the SENE Championship Game on Saturday the 24th at 7:30pm. Seeding for the NEPSAC playoffs will be finalized on Sunday with our sites set on two home games at Rocky Hill. WE’LL SEE YOU THERE!!!!