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Ardsley Press Leads Panthers Past Eastchester

ARDSLEY, N.Y. – The Eastchester girls’ basketball team faced Ardsley’s press for a majority of the evening. The Panthers had already built a lead by the time the Eagles adjusted.

Eagles’ coach Mary Kate Burke said she her team responded to the press well as the game wore on, but knew that Ardsley’s intensity at the start overmatched them.

“We always struggle against the press in the beginning of the game,” Burke said. “No matter how much experience, we always tend to panic when there’s a press.”

The Panthers defeated the Eagles, 56-44, on the second day of the Hank Roth Classic, a tournament in honor of longtime Ardsley High School Athletic Director Hank Roth. Ardsley will play Somers in the championship game on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., while Eastchester will face Ursuline B at 12:45 p.m.

Ardsley raced out to a 13-3 lead and took a 27-18 lead into the half. A plethora of outside shooting from Panthers senior captain Antoinette Pilla gave Ardsley a cushion in the second half. Burke said it was difficult for her team to keep up with the long range buckets.

“They’re a quick team, so I give them a lot of credit,” Burke said.

Ardsley head coach Michael Pollio said he was pleased with his team’s intensity in the press in the beginning of the game but added that his team’s defense in the second half was less than desirable.

“We need to remember that possessions are 30 seconds long,” Pollio said.

On an odd note, the ball twice got stuck on the rim in the first half, once at each end of the court. The fans applauded when officials successfully dislodged the ball.

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