WESTPORT — The Greens Farms Academy girls basketball team goes into its eighth week of the regular season on a high note.
The Dragons earned their eighth win of the season in 12 games in dramatic fashion following a come-from-behind 55-43 victory over Redemption Christian Academy of Northfield, Mass., on Jan. 12 at the Coyle Gymnasium.
Greens Farms trailed RCA by 17 points at one point before staging a furious second-half rally to put the Dragons over the top.
“What I kept saying to the girls was just keep doing what we’ve been working on every day at practice and it will push you through,” GFA’s 10th-year head coach Jen Harris said. “I was able to see that we were in better physical condition than them (RCA) so I was confident that they would be able to run through the whole 32 minutes and they did.
“Someone said it was like we won a huge tournament and that’s what this should be all about,” she added. “We’re thrilled with the win, it shows what we are about as a team but we are now focused on Millbrook (on Wednesday, Jan. 16).”
Coach Harris said her team’s philosophy is to take one game at a time, one possession at a time, one minute at a time, so they’re not getting too far ahead.
Those players who played key roles, against RCA as well as through the first 12 games have been seniors Katherine Marcus (point guard), Sarah Peltier (guard), Kelly Van Hoesen (forward), Kristiana Modzlewski (center) and Lilah McCormick (forward).
Marcus, who reached the 1,000-point plateau for her career earlier this season, Van Hoesen and Peltier serve as captains but Harris has liked the leadership she has seen from all of her seniors.
“I have five seniors who have played for me all four years,” she said. “It’s great to have that veteran leadership because I know what I’m going to get from them and they know what they’re going to get from me. I think there’s a lot of trust there which is hard to always come by.”
The seniors, with the exception of McCormick, said having a well-rounded team that has played together for so long and is physically fit helped set the stage for the comeback against RCA.
“We had a game plan going into the second half,” said Van Hoesen, who plans to play lacrosse at the University of Penn next year. “We decided to face guard their best player and once she was out of the picture they had a hard time putting plays together. We are in better shape than them so after a while we were still able to run back and forth and they were losing it.”
Van Hoesen said she played defense against RCA’s top player and that turned out to be vital in GFA’s rally.
Marcus said even though it was a large deficit, the Dragons kept with the tenet of Harris by taking things one at a time.
“We had some really big runs which helped the momentum swing in our favor,” Marcus said. “As for getting 1,000 points, it was really exciting and it’s awesome to see your hard work come together.”
Peltier said she felt the support of her teammates throughout against RCA, despite what the score was.
“We had a ton of energy coming off the bench, which really helped a lot,” she said.
Modzlewski was quick to add that it’s not only the seniors who are getting the job done this season but the underclassmen have been just as important.
“What also makes us successful is the fact that we have a really strong group of underclassmen this year and playing against them makes practice more of a competition,” she said. “They push us to work harder and go harder in games.”
Harris said she thinks her team will be in the mix for an FAA playoff berth and her squad will be fighting for a New England postseason spot.
If the Dragons play as well as they did in the second half against RCA the sky is the limit.