The best the Rhinebeck Lady Hawks basketball team can hope for is to keep up with the Coleman Statesmen, who lead the division with a 6-0 overall record, have beaten divisional opponents by as many as 56 points, and are one of the top Section 9, Class D teams in the state.
But things didn’t turn out that way Jan. 7, when the Lady Hawks lost a home game against Coleman 59-24.
The main issue was obvious early in the game. In every front court position, Coleman had several inches on the Lady Hawks, and wreaked havoc under the rim, contesting every rebound and poking several that they weren’t in position for from the hands of Rhinebeck players. To make matters worse, the Statesmen started running a high press on the Lady Hawks within the first three minutes and went on a nasty run after Rhinebeck scored on a putback, leaving the quarter up 19-4.
Rhinebeck managed to slow Coleman down in the second half, in spite of putting the Statesmen in the bonus early in the quarter; Lady Hawk Sydney Spencer had a scary moment early in the quarter, taking a hard shoulder to the body from Coleman’s Nicole Curly and dropping to the court for an extended period. Afterward, the Lady Hawks held Coleman scoreless for more than three minutes and managed to net a pair of buckets toward the halftime buzzer, going to the locker room down 27-10.
In the third quarter, Coleman outscored Rhinebeck once more, but only just: the Lady Hawks managed to drop eight points to their visitors’ 12. Purple caught a break deep in the period when Coleman sent out their bench for some garbage time minutes, but the running against second stringers didn’t last too long. Coleman snapped to it in the fourth quarter and ran roughshod, outscoring the Hawks 20-6.
Coleman’s Kiem Wolff and Nicole Curly split the scoring lead on the game with 16 points apiece; Rhinebeck’s Natalie Hutchins led Purple with 8. Wolff led all shooters with two three-point shots.
“Coleman’s a very good team,” said Rhinebeck head coach Marc Burg after the game. “Our only goal was to play hard for four quarters, and I thought we did that. We’re obviously inexperienced and a little young — we’ve got eighth graders, ninth graders, and tenth graders on the floor for most of the game. We’re hoping to get better as the season progresses.”
Rhinebeck has one more matchup with Coleman later in the season, barring any postseason encounters.