Kyla Gabriel scored 17 in the win over Pine Plains
Kyla Gabriel scored 17 in the win over Pine Plains

Red Hook bests Pine Plains in girls basketball home opener

Suffocating defense by Wilkinson, scoring by Gabriel deliver win for smaller Raider squad

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The Red Hook girls basketball team steamrolled Pine Plains in their home opener on Dec. 7, sending the Lady Bombers home after a 52-32 romp.

Red Hook, whose tallest player this year is the 5’10” junior Emma Prior, was substantially outsized by the Lady Bombers, who are starting two 5’10” players and a 6’1” 8th grade player, Ashley Starzyk. But Red’s half-court press and turnover offense made the Bombers look like a modified squad.

Red forced four straight turnovers in the early first, courtesy of guard Julianna Wilkinson’s smothering, one-on-one defense. Wilkinson preyed on Pine Plains starting point guard Erica Boyles, forcing Boyles into bad passes and holding the guard to one basket in three quarters of play. [Wilkinson finished the game with eight points on three two-point field goals and two-for-two free throw shooting.] The senior guard buried a long-range two to punctuate the first quarter. Red Hook led 20-6 going into the second.

The game was over by the half. Courtesy of a 10-point Kyla Gabriel second quarter and the continued tenacious defense of both Wilkinson and senior Raeanna Levenson, the Raiders took a 39-13 lead into the locker room.

Coach Pam White’s squad took their foot off the gas pedal in the third and fourth quarters. Red scored only 5 points in the third quarter, on a pair of two-point field goals from Talia Stortini and Wilkinson, and a free throw from Gabriel. Pine Plains put up 6 in the quarter. The Lady Raiders finished the third with a 44-19 lead.

White pulled her starting five in the fourth quarter, and sent in the second string of Kelsey Decker, Tessa Stortini, Jessica Wilkinson, Shannon Yearwood, and Lauren Marici. After ceding 13 points to the Lady Bombers, White sent the starting five back in at the 4:15 mark, and ordered a full court press. Pine Plains would not score again. Gabriel led all scorers with 16; Maria Farias led Pine Plains with 12.

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