Scores

Team Opponent Date Details Result Score Recap
Lacrosse - Boys' Varsity vs.
IMG Academy
Details Loss 9-21
Lacrosse - Boys' Varsity vs.
St. Sebastian School
Details Loss 10-13
Lacrosse - Boys' Varsity vs.
The Hill School
Details Loss 7-12
Hockey - Boys' Varsity vs.
Albany Academies
Details Loss 1-3
Basketball - Girls' Varsity vs.
Marianapolis Preparatory School
Details Loss 56-72

Marianapolis 72

Taft 56 (Final record: 12-10)

Back in December, Taft faced Marianapolis Prep at the Rivers Holiday Tournament. It was the Rhinos’ third game in less than 24 hours, and while they competed hard, Marianapolis was clearly better, and Taft lost by twenty-plus points. Two-and-a-half months later, the Big Red, seeded #6, squared off versus #3 Marianapolis at their gym in a New England Class A quarter final game. While the score suggests another near-blowout, this was a very different game.

Despite an early Lauren Pelosi 3 pointer and a Juliana Yamin offensive rebound and put-back, several turnovers, rushed shots and missed defensive rotations betrayed the Rhinos’ nervousness, and Marianapolis jumped out to a 12-5 lead. (When the home team scored the 10th point, the all white clad partisan crowd, tomb silent to that point, erupted so deafeningly that neither the refs nor Taft’s players could hear yours truly signaling for a timeout.) Senior leadership was needed - and the seniors didn’t disappoint. Karalyn Baird drained a 3-ball, then was fouled while taking another...and calmly sank all three free throws. Then Jalissa Rodriguez, having checked into the game at about the twelve minute mark, saw her first jumper, a long 2, rattle home - and she started feeling it. J-Rod would stick three long 3-balls before the half was out, and Baird would hit another. So while Taft wasn’t playing flawless offensive basketball, Baird and Rodriguez combined for twenty of the team’s twenty-seven first half points to keep the team in contention. If only it could get more stops at the other end, where Marianapolis’ size and skill frequently meant a solid defensive Taft possession still ended with a Marianapolis hoop. It was 36-27 at the half.

When the home team scored the first two buckets of the second stanza to the crowd’s roaring approval, the visitors stayed focussed and united, and they battled back. A Pelosi 3...Yamin sacrificing her body to draw an offensive foul...two more Baird foul shots...a Pelosi steal leading to her “and one” layup...a Kayla Robinson offensive board and foul-drawing put-back attempt - and Taft found itself down just six points. Marianapolis made another run, but Taft answered with a Rodriguez 3 and two Sam Manfreda jumpers to keep it close. When Marianapolis extended its lead well into double digits with under five minutes to play, the Rhinos might have folded. But a driving Rodriguez layup, two Robinson finishes off nifty feeds from Pelosi (14 points on the day) and Baird (11 points), and another long Rodriguez 3 (she finished with 19 to lead Taft) meant the home team’s lead was just eight with under two minutes. At that point, a few Rhino misses and several Marianapolis made free throws (Taft was forced to foul to stop the clock) put the contest out of reach.

But Taft had played probably its best all-around game of the season. The post-game locker team room tears were born not of disappointment but of sadness that this exceptionally tight team’s season was over.

Thank you to the three male basketball-playing Taft seniors who helped us prepare for the game. Thank you to all the team parents who schlepped to Connecticut’s quiet corner on a Wednesday afternoon to offer support. Thank you to Coach Valdez for her continued, boundless dedication to this program and its players. Most important, thank you to all the members of the 2016-’17 team for being just that, a true team, and reminding an old guy returning after a year away why he so loves to coach Taft girls’ varsity basketball.

Coach Willson

Hockey - Boys' Varsity vs.
Hotchkiss School
Details Win 6-2
Hockey - Boys' III vs.
Westminster School
Details Tie 4-4

Taft and Westminster skating to a 4-4 tie to finish out the 2016-2017 season.

After letting a two goal lead slip away during their first meeting against Westminster, the skating Rhinos were looking for payback. Ten minutes into the first period, things looked bleak as Taft found itself down 3-0. However, Ogden “The Scarborough Sniper” Timpson ‘17 put life into his teammates by scoring to cut the lead to 3-1. His first of four! on the day. Westminster would quickly answer and took a commanding 4-1 into the first period intermission.

The second period saw back and forth action from both teams with numerous pucks ringed off of posts. Playing with only three defensemen, Rhino defenders Nick Cutler ‘17, Duncan Darrin ‘18, and Nick Winicki ‘19 thwarted numerous chances by Westminster attackers. The turning point of the game was Taft’s ability to kill off a five on three power play midway through the second period and keep the score at 4-1. Taft peppered Westminster’s goalie with numerous shots and finally got one over the goal line when Ogden Timpson ‘17 scored with eighteen seconds left in the period.

Taft continued its dominant play in the third period and finally tied the score with a little under six minutes remaining in the game as Ogden Timpson ‘17 got his fourth goal by blasting a slapshot off the goalies blocker and into the net. Sources stated the referee was overcome by the smell of burning rubber retrieving the puck from the net.

Both teams had strong chances in the extra frame but were unable to score.

Taft thirds hockey finishes the season at a respectable 6-5-1. Thank you to seniors, Nick Cutler, George Sheppard, Graham Brogan-Brown, Kevin Mulhearn, and Ogden Timpson on an entertaining season. Another thank you to all parents and friends that came out to support the team with cheers and delicious treats both home and away.

1st

2nd

3rd

OT

Final

Taft

1

1

2

0

4

Westminster

4

0

0

0

4

Basketball - Girls' JV vs.
Hotchkiss School
Details Win 27-22

Taft concluded the basketball season with a home game against Hotchkiss. The Bearcats started hot and jumped out to an early lead. They played strong defense and kept the Rhinos from penetrating their zone. Hotchkiss had a 16-11 lead at the half. Taft regrouped during the break and brought a high level of intensity to their play in the second half. The Rhinos played great defense and held the Bearcats to only 6 points in the last 20 minutes of play. The Rhinos gained energy throughout the game asserted their control to win the contest 27-22. Taft was lead in scoring by Anna Koziol ’20 who scored 14. Co-Captains Magda Kisielinska ’18 and Mary Caruso added 6 and 3 points, respectively. Caroline Martin ’19 and Anna Edwards ’19 rounded out the scoring for the Rhinos. The defense was lead by Cho Dechen ’19, who had 4 steals and applied great pressure on the perimeter. Edwards and Koziol recorded several blocks and steals each as they anchored a great defensive effort. A vocal bench helped to energize the team throughout the contest.

Basketball - Boys' Varsity vs.
Westminster School
Details Win 65-55
Hockey - Boys' JV vs.
Hotchkiss School
Details Win 3-2
Hockey - Girls' Varsity vs.
Hotchkiss School
Details Tie 0-0
Basketball - Boys' III vs.
Suffield Academy
Details Loss 34-48
Basketball - Boys' JV vs.
Westminster School
Details Win 60-38

Recap: In its final match of the season, the Taft Boys JV Basketball team faced a determined-to-upset Westminster squad. Our team started with its 5 seniors who provided undeniable inspiration for their teammates this game and throughout the season. Staying within a few points for most of the first half, Taft found it difficult to find any groove due to Westminster's consistent scoring and the referrees' tight officiating. Up merely 29-23 at the half, the team knew it had much to improve.

With some quick halftime adjustments and some fast transition offense, Taft found a way to build a lead as much as 22 in the second half to remain comfortably in control of the entire game. The victory gave Taft's JV Boys Basketball team a flawless, UNDEFEATED season.

Player highlights include our 5 graduating seniors: Brandon Cartagena, Shemar Christian, Justin Pang, Luke Sommer, and Chris Zillow.

Hockey - Girls' JV vs.
Hotchkiss School
Details Win 2-1

This was a tight, evenly played contest, a fitting way to end the season between two strong jv teams. For the first time this year, we were outshot by a prep school team, 18-17, and we were limited to 3 shots in the second period, our lowest total on the season. Hotchkiss did a great job blocking shots and defending our two top lines, but Taft's D also rose to the challenge posed by Hotchkiss' fast and creative first unit. Our forwards backchecked better than they have all season, and many good chances for both teams came to naught. All the scoring came early, with goals by Liz Barre on the first shift and again part way through the first to put us up 2-0. Hotchkiss scored on a power play rebound to make it 2-1 early in the second, and despite some close calls, that was all the scoring there was. Sojung Kim had to make a few great saves, and while we had it around the Hotchkiss net often, we did not get many great shots off. The fourth line of Berray, Brooks and Susi played very well and kept the puck in the Hotchkiss end for the final shift to preserve the win.


Basketball - Girls' Varsity vs.
Hotchkiss School
Details Win 58-35

Taft 58 Hotchkiss 35

(Final regular season record: 12-9)

On Senior Day, class of '17 ballers scored Taft's first and last buckets of the afternoon. Co-captain Karalyn Baird stuck a pull-up jumper in the lane to get the scoring started, and some thirty minutes later Emily Drakeley delivered a bounce pass to a cutting Morgan Sperry for a lay-up, the final hoop of Taft's 2016-'17 regular season. In between, despite the Big Red's tough defense, the game was closer than the final score indicated. One of Hotchkiss' two seniors, Hannah Frater, went for double digits, and the other, Aba Sam, attacked the basket relentlessly. Nonetheless, the Rhinos 14-0 run toward the end of the first half provided a cushion that the visitors could not overcome.

Four-year senior Jalissa Rodriguez led the seniors in scoring on the day with 6, and she assisted on Emily Drakeley's bucket. Sperry yanked down five boards from her guard position, and gamely and intelligently drew two clear offensive fouls (that weren't called). Co-captain Sam Manfreda corralled six boards to go with her 5 points. In limited minutes, underclassmen Lauren Pelosi (four assists) and Kayla Robinson led Taft in scoring with 17 and 13 points, respectively.

Coach Willson


Squash - Girls' JV vs.
Miss Porter's School
Details Win 7-0
Squash - Girls' III vs.
Kent School
Details Win 7-0

What a wonderful season it has been for the girls' 3rds team. We faced talented opponents all season and made every effort to refine our skills and game play throughout the season. Our final match was a strong finish for every girl on the team. In the number one spot, Sanju Maheshwari won in three games, but her opponent kept it close and really made Sanju work for it- especially in the final game, which ended 14-12! Sanju's focus, drive, and determination, as well as her excellent movement on the court and strong shot placement allowed her to seal the deal and win the day. In the number two spot, Halle Wagner had another excellent performance on the court and won in three as well. With a wonderful confidence and composure, Halle was smart with her shot placement and made her opponent run. In the number three spot, Nico Gusac, was her usual dominant self on the squash court. Her strong serves, as well as her powerful rails and cross courts, did not make things easy for her opponent. In the number four spot, Michelle Lian, another wonderfully consistent player, also won in three. Her opponent gave her excellent competition and kept it close, especially in the first game, which ended 12-10. Michelle kept her focus and composure and remained calm and did what she needed to do to win those final points. In the number five spot, Annabelle Pulver had another excellent match against a strong Kent player who won some great points. Annabelle's wonderful court awareness and focus allowed her to win in three games as well. In the number six spot, Reese Bragg had a wonderful match against another very good Kent player. Reese dominated the first game with a strong serve, excellent movement on the court, and wonderful ball placement. In the number seven spot, Eliza Travelstead was her usual athleticism, concentration, and drive gave a wonderful performance on the court and won in three games as well. In the number eight spot, Addie Delafield had a fantastic match against her opponent and gained more and more confidence and strength over the course of her games. She too won in three. In the number nine spot, Annabel Dewing had a wonderful match and won in four against her excellent opponent. In the number ten spot, Rose Gasser had an excellent match verses the number two player on Kent's team, and she won in three. While she was nervous to play someone so high up on the other team's ladder, she realized that she had a few valuable skills that allowed her to take away the win, including a fantastic serve. In the number eleven spot, Hartley Messer played Kent's number one, and although she lost, she did a fantastic job of winning five points in the first game and seven in the second. In the number twelve spot, Emily Frase played Kent's number three player and did a fantastic job of keeping it close in the first game and then winning the next two! Her fantastic rails and drives to the back of the court are two of her secret weapons. Finally, in the number thirteen spot, Maggie Masterson played a fantastic game against Kent's number four player, and although she lost in two, she kept the games very close. Her last game was particularly amazing and she made her opponent work for it with a win of 17-15! All in all, it was a wonderful match up, and the girls should feel really good about how far they've come and how much they've learned. They have made me so proud. What a wonderful season with a wonderful group of competitors.

Squash - Boys' Varsity
Details
Squash - Girls' Varsity
Details