Basketball - Girls' Varsity
Hotchkiss School
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Hotchkiss School
Win 53-30
Natalie Hodak and Kayla Robinson staked the visiting Big Red to an early 11-0 lead in the first of two meetings between these longtime rivals. The Bearcats battled back behind their fiercely partisan crowd to keep the score close. But first half scoring off the bench from Lauren Villanueva (all 4 of her points) and Anna Csigirinszkij (a difficult driving layup) as well continued hot shooting by Hodak (12 points before the intermission) helped Taft maintain a double-digit advantage. After the break, Taft’s defense led to early offense opportunities and a 12-1 Rhino run to put the game away early. Robinson and Hodak shared high scoring honors with 15, and they each also recorded four steals, as did Villanueva. Anna Koziol’s 5 points included a long 3-ball with the shot clock winding down. Two of Sophie Webb's 4 points came off a perfectly executed back door layup. Tessa Graebner and Elise Moreira score a hoop each and played intense defense - as did Maggie O'Leary, who gave away at least eight inches of height to everyone she defended. But the play of the day belonged to Celine Anyaegbunam, who, for one of her two buckets, dribbled the length of the floor, up-faked a Hotchkiss defender, then laid it in with her left hand for 2 of her 4 points. On a personal note, this is Taft’s first game against Hotchkiss since the passing of my former faculty advisor, friend and mentor Dick Cobb. Dick coached the Taft girls’ team for close to three decades. When he handed me the keys to the program in 2001, his only request was that my teams keep his twenty-four-game winning streak against Hotchkiss going. We did for another twenty-three games, usually with Dick in attendance. A few years have passed since then. Dick was Taft through and through, and as classy as they came. But as gentlemanly a coach as Dick was, he never tired of beating Hotchkiss. This one was for you, Dick. Jon Willson