By Dec. 19, Red Hook’s Lady Raiders’ basketball team was supposed to have played seven games, but a slew of snow-outs led to four cancelled games before they hosted Burke Catholic in their week-late home opener.
And the lack of court time didn’t really show when the Lady Raiders trounced the Eagles, 51-38.
Burke, a taller squad than Red Hook, was flummoxed from the get-go. The Lady Raiders are strapped for height this year, running 5’10” Marist Parr at center and rocking a roster that is, for all intents and purposes, almost all guards. But quick moves to the hoop and heavy defense on inbounds plays put Burke in a 26-6 hole coming out of the first quarter, in which Red Hook’s senior guard Julianne Wilkinson — bound for Concordia College on full scholarship in 2014 — had 10 of her 16 points on the night.
Everything was clicking in the first quarter, from Red’s crisp ball movement to the Eagle’s sloppy defense; Burke put Red Hook in the bonus halfway through the quarter. But then things started to slow down for the Lady Raiders.
“We’re trying to put together a consistent four quarters,” Red Hook head coach Pam White told the Observer. “We’re three games into the season, and our consistency isn’t where it should be at this point.”
Burke picked up the pressure in the quarter, making it difficult for the Lady Raiders to get the ball past midcourt. The Eagles even sent out the team’s tallest lineup to shake things up in the middle, but to no avail. Red Hook managed to get a hand on almost every shot put up in the hole, and outscored the Eagles 8-5.
Forward Talia Stortini drained a three, Red Hook’s only trey of the evening, with 4:19 left in the third, and both teams were squarely in the bonus in the third quarter. Burke began to play to win in the fourth quarter, but it was far too little, far too late.
The Eagles managed 13 points in both the third and fourth quarters, outscoring Red in both, but Red’s first-quarter barrage was too much to overcome, and Burke went home with a loss.
“We’ve had four snowouts so far, so that hasn’t helped,” White said of her team’s performance after the game. “But we’re going to get better. We struggled with our turnovers tonight. A lot of them were self-induced turnovers, so we have to control the ball a little better, but we’ll be alright.”
Wilkinson led all scorers with her 16 points. The win was Red Hook’s second in two days, having beaten Highland, 52-34, the night before.