3/3/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball Vs. Vermont Academy [NEPSAC Championship]

Photo Credit Art Entwistle

The Mariners are NEPSAC Champions After Victory Over Tough Wildcats Team

ROCKY HILL – 59, VERMONT – 52

For the first time in school history, our Rocky Hill Mariners earned the right to take part in the NEPSAC Girls Basketball Championship Game, matched up against a strong Vermont Academy Wildcats team that played a similarly challenging schedule throughout their season. All of the optics looked towards a great game and this one definitely did not disappoint!

We started off jittery with some turnovers and missed shots and the Wildcats jumped out to a 7-2 lead. Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) got a big steal off of an inbound play and that helped push the Mariners out on an 8-0 run. Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) made our first 3 FGs of the game and Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine) established herself inside, grabbing 2 offensive rebounds that put Vermont’s talented center in early foul trouble. We started to reach on defense which led to some easy buckets for VA but Sophie Mahar ‘25 (Wakefield, RI) got to her spot for two deep 3’s and we found ourselves up 16-13 at the end of the 1st quarter.

1st Quarter Stats: RH outrebounded VA 9-4… RH Forced 7 turnovers but gave it away 5 times… Both teams shot exactly 35.7%… 4 assists, 4 steals and 5 deflections for RH!

Both teams started out the 2nd with some sloppy play, combining for 7 turnovers in the first 2 minutes. Darien Kiernan ‘26 (Cranston, RI) came in and provided a huge spark by burying 2 kick-out 3’s and playing some aggressive baseline defense in the 1-3-1 zone. Halfway through the period we found ourselves up 24-17 and gaining momentum. We were dominating in the paint and in control of the tempo on both ends of the court. Things slowed down for both teams but Ju’elle West ‘24 (Providence, RI) made 2 huge buckets in the final 90 seconds off of 2 beautiful passes from Sophie and Dariia and we were up 32-22 at halftime.

2nd Quarter Stats: RH dominated the boards @ 14-6… 12 offensive rebounds in the 1st half… RH forced another 8 turnovers, but gave it away 6 times…5 assists, 3 steals and 3 deflections for RH… RH held VA to 21.4% shooting and shot 36.8%!

Knowing the quality of our opponent, we wanted to make them uncomfortable at the start of the 2nd half by coming out in a zone press. Dariia started to take control defensively and Addie heated up offensively and suddenly we held our biggest lead of the game at 16 points, 40-24, with 5:10 to go in the 3rd. From here we lost focus a little bit as we began forcing early possession jump shots without taking much needed time off of the clock. The quick shots were also putting pressure on our defense as Vermont Academy began driving the paint and getting to the FT line. We didn’t score another basket in the quarter while the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run to close the period out, cutting our lead to 40-33.

3rd Quarter Stats: RH had an astounding 12-0 rebounding advantage in the quarter which included 8 more offensive rebounds… We forced 8 more turnovers but gave it away 6 times, ourselves… VA only had 5 FGA, making 3, while going 4/4 from the FT line… RH was 0/5 from 3 in the quarter, shooting just 22.2% in total!

An early steal by Addie Mahar, leading to an assist to her sister, changed the mood for a minute but Vermont showed their character and their quality by relentlessly fighting for the remainder of the game. We got back to playing the ball into Lily and Dariia in the post and our lead went back up to 10, 46-36, with 6:24 left in the game. A 12-4 run built off of FT’s and a clutch 3-pointer and Vermont was suddenly down just 2 points at 50-48 with 3:18 to go. Our defense was getting sluggish, our opponent was getting momentum and the nerves were getting tight but baskets by Addie and Lily canceled out 4 points by the Wildcats and the lead sat at two: 54-52. On our very next possession we took a couple more quick, unnecessary 3-pointers and suddenly the air seemed thin. But that’s when Dariia Serednytska imposed her will on the game!!! 3 offensive rebounds led to a putback bucket, pushing the lead to 4, and she then had the play of the game, taking a massive charge to give us the ball back with :38 seconds to play. From there, Vermont Academy had to foul and 3 of 4 FTs from Addie and Sophie sealed up the first NEPSAC Championship in Rocky Hill history, 59-52!!!

4th Quarter/Final Stats: RH shot it just 33.3% for the game but we had our 2nd highest offensive rebound total of the year (24) which helped control the game… Our zone defenses definitely worked to slow down VA as we attempted 20 more shots than them and forced 30 turnovers… 9 of 12 FTs in the final quarter helped RH lock up the win… we did not make a 3-pointer in the 2nd half… 3 charges were taken by RH on the day, helping to put 2 of VA’s best players in foul trouble…

Addie Mahar (15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 6 deflections, 1 charge taken) was named the Championship Game MVP for her clutch play in the 2nd half and her usual unwillingness to lose!

Plenty of Mariners had key contributions:

  • Dariia Serednytska – 12 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals; 2 charges taken
  • Lily Sokol – 11 points, 11 rebounds
  • Sophie Mahar – 9 points, 2 assist, 7 steals
  • Aliona Nikulina – 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks
  • Darien Kiernan – 2 massive 3-pointers in our 1st half run, 2 assists
  • Ju’elle West – 2 huge baskets to close out the 1st half

All in all, it was an incredible way to end our season! Team play showed up on both ends of the court and a will to win justified all of the hard work that our girls put into this amazing accomplishment!!! We want to thank all of the parents, faculty, students and fans for your dedication and support over the season!!! History was made and you were all part of it!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

3/2/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball Vs. Covenant Christian Academy [NEPSAC Semifinal]

Mariners Secure Ticket to NEPSAC Championship with Strong Win Over Cougars

ROCKY HILL – 67, COVENANT CHRISTIAN – 25

On Saturday, March 2nd, our Rocky Hill Mariners hosted Covenant Christian Academy in the semi-finals of the Class D NEPSAC playoffs, looking to advance to the championship game for the first time in school history.

Things started strong as aggressive defense and offensive rebounding pushed us out to an early 9-0 lead, led by Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) (4 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and 7 rebounds in the 1st) and Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) (5 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists). Aliona Nikulina ‘27 (Kyiv, Ukraine) and Darien Kiernan ‘26 (Cranston, RI) joined the scoring parade and the home team dominated the 1st quarter to lead 28-3 at the break.

The 2nd quarter saw more of the same transition offense that helped us get the big lead, this time led mostly by Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine) who had 6 assists, 3 steals and 8 rebounds in the first 2 quarters. Sophie Mahar ‘25 (Wakefield, RI) made 5 of her 7 shots in the half to go with her 3 assists and 4 steals., herself. We hit the 50 point mark right before the end of the 2nd and, alll in all, we had 19 assists, 16 steals and 28 rebounds to go along with shooting 53.7% in the 1st half. It was a dominant performance.

The second half gave us a chance to slow things down and work on some stuff, living off of the success of the first. We outscored our opponent 17-13 over the final 2 quarters to give us a big 67-25 win to put us in the championship on Sunday, March 3rd, 2024 @ 11:30am at the prestigious Noble & Greenough School. It will be a great test for our girls who will be facing Vermont Academy in the final.

2/24/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball @ St. Andrew’s [SENE Championship]

Photo Credit Hunter Freitas

Mariners Fight Hard but Fall to Tough Saints Varsity in SENE Championship

ROCKY HILL – 53, ST ANDREW’S – 67

It was a vital game for our Rocky Hill Mariners as we found ourselves taking on a St Andrew’s team that already beat us soundly this season on two separate occasions. On top of that, this one was for the SENE Championship on the defending champions court. A tough task lied ahead of us.

A bad start and we found ourselves in a 0-6 hole after 90 seconds by forcing 7 quick shots and picking up 2 fouls in transition defense. Refocused offense led to some easy points in the paint, led by Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine), as our bigs dominated the boards on a 15-3 run over the next 3 minutes. Our zone defense was working, for the most part, but we were getting beat in transition. St Andrew’s fired back with the next 6 points before a late runner put us up 2 at the end of the 1st, 17-15. It was a great start considering our shot selection led to a nervy 6 for 19 in the frame.

The 2nd quarter saw our defense slow down a bit as our offense remained impatient. We shot 34/2% from the field in the 1st half, despite having multiple size mismatches to take advantage of in the post. Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) used her moves in the paint to get a couple of good buckets and two 3-pointers by Sophie Mahar ‘25 (Wakefield, RI) helped kill a couple of runs by the Saints but we found ourselves down by 4 at the half, 31-35.

Turnovers and a couple of missed shots were countered by Rhanne Sheehan who went on her own personal 9-0 run to put St Andrew’s up 44-31 through the first 2 minutes of the half. We shot just 2 for 14 in the period and the deficit pushed up to 15 before a couple of free throws by Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) and a 3-pointer by Aliona Nikulina ‘27 (Kyiv, Ukraine) closed it to 10 points.

Down 12 to begin the final quarter, we needed belief and a spark on either end of the court and, unfortunately, we didn’t get it. Our shots wouldn’t fall and St Andrew’s took advantage of our sluggish defense in the post as they pushed out to a 20 point lead. Darien Kiernan ‘26 (Cranston, RI) provided some energy down the stretch but we could only get it as close as the final score, 53-67.

Despite the tough loss, the season has been a massive success and we take on the NEPSAC playoffs as the number two seed in Class D and a 1st round bye. Our semi-final matchup will be at 2:30pm this Saturday at home with a chance to make the NEPSAC Championship for the first time in school history!!! We hope to see everyone there!!!

2/22/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball @ Bancroft

Photo Credit Dawn Temple

Mariners End Regular Season on High Note with Victory Over Bulldogs

ROCKY HILL – 75, BANCROFT – 27

In our final game of the regular season, our Rocky Hill Mariners took on the Bancroft School for the first time all season after losing to them 3 times last year, including a quarterfinal matchup in the NEPSAC playoffs. It was safe to say that our returning girls were motivated for this one and that our new players were brought up to speed on the importance of the opponent.

The game started well for us as Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine) (9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists), Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) (6 points, 5 deflections) and Sophie Mahar ‘25 (Wakefield, RI) (4 steals, 2 deflections) did a little bit of everything to push us out to a 15-3 lead and we never really looked back.

Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) started distributing the ball beautifully and we pushed out to a 29-9 lead with 4 minutes left in the half. From there, Sophie got hot (10 2nd quarter points) and we found ourselves u 38-18 at the break.

The 3rd quarter saw Lily do her thing in transition and on the offensive glass for 9 points while Addie, Sophie and Darien Kiernan ‘26 (Cranston, RI) all made 3-pointers off of great ball movement.

A 14-2 period closed out the game, putting Rocky Hill on the right side of a 75-27 win before we head into the SENE and NEPSAC playoffs!!! And a great bit of history was made in this one as our 6’2” C/PG 😃 got the 2nd ‘Triple-Double’ in school history with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists!!! Sophie Mahar also had one this season.

2/21/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball Vs. Dublin [SENE Semifinal]

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!!!!

2/17/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball @ Marianapolis

Photo Credit PJ Thibodeau

Mariners Compete Early but Fall to Deep Golden Knights Team

ROCKY HILL – 38, MARIANAPOLIS – 71

When the schedule is made and you take a look at all of your opponents you usually know where the toughest games lie on your schedule. For our Rocky Hill Mariners, this was clearly going to be one of them and it was intentionally placed at the end of the season so that we could prepare for the toughness needed in a playoff run.

The game started off well as we jumped out to a 5-3 lead off of two early buckets by Aliona Nikulina ‘27 (Kyiv, Ukraine) before turnovers started getting the best of us. Marianapolis took advantage with crisp passing and sharp shooting to go on a 19-4 run, making 4 3-pointers in a row, to close out the 1st quarter.

The 2nd quarter was more of the same as our opponents were shooting the lights out on their way to a 26-6 quarter which felt like one giant run. Meanwhile, we went 0 for 8 from deep and only 5 for 14 from inside the paint. We found ourselves down 15-48 at the half which was easily our biggest halftime deficit of the season.

The chance to quit was there but the best part of this game lay before us as we fought and clawed our way in a great 2nd half of basketball. Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) got going with 5 3rd quarter points while Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) added 4 of her own. Our switch to a 1-3-1 zone defense slowed down their shooters and kept us motivated as we chipped 6 points off of the lead.

The 4th quarter was a story of shots not dropping as we gave the 6 points back to fall 38-71. Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine) finished the game with 14 rebounds, 5 points, 4 assists and 2 steals in a strong all-around effort and while we took a big L on the scoreboard there were plenty of positives to take from this one. Next up are the SENE playoffs which begin this Wednesday at home vs the Dublin School (3:15 tip).

2/15/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball Vs. Wheeler

Photo Credit Dawn Temple

Mariners Continue to Build Momentum into NEPSAC Tournament Contention with Victory Over Warriors

ROCKY HILL – 61, WHEELER – 46

With the NEPSAC playoffs looming, seeding became the top priority as our Rocky Hill Mariners faced a challenging matchup versus in-state rival and Class C opponent, Wheeler. The game would not be an easy one, despite already having a 48-36 victory at Wheeler earlier this season but the chance to earn the #1 seed in the upcoming tournament was basically on the line for us, having to win to keep that hope alive.

Also occurring in this game was the chance to celebrate our 2 Seniors, Mackenzie Carney ‘24 (East Greenwich, RI) and Ju’elle West ‘24 (Providence, RI) who have been 4 year Varsity players, dedicated to the school and the program that they represent! Each of these two young women are strong, resilient, intelligent and dedicated student athletes who have made this school proud!!! We are so appreciative of both of them for their dedication to themselves and our program!!!

The game was similar to the first matchup where a few small runs gave us a lead that never felt comfortable. Our team was playing great basketball in the opening frame, getting an assist on every made field goal in the 1st quarter, while pushing out to an 18-11 lead. Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) was active with 6 quick points but Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) was a star in this one, especially in the opening half where she had 6 steals and 13 points to dictate the play of the game. The first half ended on 8 consecutive points from her and we went to the break leading 32-24.

7 different players scored in the 3rd quarter to help grow our confidence and a 14-4 run pushed us out to an 18 point at 46-28. Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine) was playing some point guard and focused defense to help calm things down and while it was looking like we were going to pull away, our opponents heated up from behind the arc. Coupled with some bad shot selection and missed layups, we suddenly found our lead cut in half on a 9-0 Wheeler run. It felt like we were hanging on. But Sophie Mahar ‘25 (Wakefield, RI) got going with a couple of big baskets early in the 4th quarter as her and her sister, Addie, handled Wheeler’s 2nd half pressure admirably. Both teams tightened up their defenses and we survived this one, winning 61-46.

The win puts our Mariners in contention for the top two seeds in the upcoming NEPSAC playoffs and with some success in the final week, we could be looking at the chance to play 2 home games before Super Sunday which would be a massive advantage for our team, considering how well we’ve played at home!!!

2/9/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball @ Dana Hall

Mariners Are Resilient but Fall to Strong Class A Dragons

ROCKY HILL – 44, DANA HALL – 53

Rocky Hill faced their 3rd tough opponent of the week when we headed up to Wellesley, MA to face Class A’s, Dana Hall School.

The game started well on a great drive and kick from Aliona Nikulina ‘27 (Kyiv, Ukraine) to Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) for a corner 3-pointer, giving our Mariners a quick 3-2 lead. A lack of rhythm in the 1st half was the issue on offense and poor boxing out became a big issue on defense as we gave up 14 offensive rebounds that all led to points for the home team. We also couldn’t take advantage of the space in their extended 2×3 zone, going 2 for 16 from behind the arc while giving the ball away 14 times. We were led by Lily’s 10 points, and the 8 rebound/3 assist half from Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine), but it was a tough start for a team looking for some positive momentum and we trailed 20-40 at the break.

The 2nd half started with us in a full court press which instantly paid dividends. The pressure forced our opponents into a number of turnovers and we held them to just 4 points in the quarter. Unfortunately, our cold shooting continued and we could only close the deficit by 7 points, 31-44.

The last quarter was a back and forth affair and a late run led by Aliona and Sophie Mahar ‘25 (Wakefield, RI) saw us cut the gap to just 6 points, 42-48, with just a minute to go. But turnover again got the best of us and we wound up taking our 3rd loss in a row, 44-53.

Plenty to be positive about after overcoming such a big halftime hole but we’ve got to be more focused on a few vital things as we stand before the SENE and NEPSAC playoffs!

2/7/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball Vs. St. Andrew’s V

Mariners Suffer 2nd Loss of Season to Saints Varsity

ROCKY HILL – 64, ST ANDREW’S – 79

For the second time in two weeks, our Rocky Hill Mariners faced a strong St Andrew’s team that does a lot of things really well: ball movement, principled defense, high percentage shooting, transitional offense… This was definitely going to be another tough game. In the first one, we had early success on offense in the paint but we stalled a bit on the perimeter with turnovers and missed 3 pointers. Consequently, we looked to attack them inside and things started off well.

Aliona Nikulina ‘27 (Kyiv, Ukraine) set the tone with 9 1st quarter points off of dribble penetration and attacking movement. Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) was everywhere, getting a couple of key, momentum holding baskets and rebounds. For the first time all season we didn’t attempt a 3-pointer in a quarter but our success inside and our defense started strong, despite the Saints seeing some early 3’s go down.

The 2nd quarter saw Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI) get going (16 points for the game) with her typical, active style and we found ourselves up 22-16 with 6:08 left in the half but from there our opponents heated up, going on a 17-7 run to take a 33-29 lead into the break.

Loose defense became the story of our game as we left too much space for their great shooters and St Andrew’s took advantage, burying 6 more 3-pointers on their way to a 25 point period. We also couldn’t protect the ball, turning it over on 6 of our 7 possessions. Aliona and Lily were keeping us in it by scoring 9 points and 5 points in the 3rd quarter, respectively, but we found ourselves down double digits and the pressure was starting to show up in some forced shots and nervous body language.

Darien Kiernan ‘26 (Cranston, RI) and Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine) were battling the whole way and they both made some big buckets in the 4th to keep us alive but 4 more 3-pointers by the Saints (15 total for the game) sealed our fate and we went down 64-79. The 79 points were the most we’ve given up in two years and this was the second time this season that we’ve given up that many 3’s.

Our girls will learn from these two games and they’ll hopefully get the chance to flip the script in the SENE Championship Game if we can get by the Dublin School next Wednesday, February 21st. However, 4 more tough games to focus on before then as our Mariners look to learn from this adversity.

2/5/24 – Girls Varsity Basketball Vs. Putnam Science Academy

Mariners Stifled by Tough Defense of Mustangs in Non-League Battle

ROCKY HILL – 33, PUTNAM SCIENCE – 52

Sometimes the stats lie. Other times, like in our matchup vs Putnam Science Academy, they don’t. Our Rocky Hill Mariners had a season low in field goal attempts (37) and 3 point field goal attempts (13), attempting only one 3-pointer in the 2nd half. We also had the second most turnovers that we’ve had in a game this season (25), the second least rebounds that we’ve had in a game this season (29) and we gave up the most offensive rebounds that we have all year (27) by a wide margin.

The credit in this one should go to our opponents and their coach who played strong man to man defense, culminating with some great changes at halftime to take us out of rhythm and stall our ball movement. If you can’t find a way to attack defensive pressure in basketball you will almost definitely succumb to it like we did in this game.

Our first 6 minutes of the game were rough, getting off only 4 shot attempts (all 3’s) while turning the ball over 8 times. Sophie Mahar ‘25 (Wakefield, RI) made two 3’s early and Dariia Serednytska ‘27 (Odessa, Ukraine) got a couple of late buckets in the paint but we were down 10-18 and looking stagnant at the end of one quarter.

Addison Mahar ‘27 (Wakefield, RI) sparked a comeback in the 2nd with a big 3-pointer and a follow up bucket to change the momentum Then, with a little over 3 minutes left in the 1st half, we took a 21-20 lead off of 3 consecutive buckets from Lily Sokol ‘26 (Middletown, RI). It was the peak moment in this one and it was built off of scrappiness and determination, rather than execution and cohesion.

Putnam came out of halftime in a zone press and a high, half court trap, keeping our frustrations going. The offensive issues affected our defense, as well, as reaching fouls and a lack of help defense saw Putnam pull away from this one to end the game on a 26-10 run for a 52-33 win.

In the end, these games are opportunities for growth IF we learn from them and, with the schedule we have coming up, it won’t be easy unless we do.

“We before me.” “Our” shots. “Together.”

These need to be honest words about who we are, not catchy phrases that look good in a meme.