Highland’s girls’ basketball team already clinched a sectional berth this season as the Huskies seek a third straight Section 9, Class B title.
Bri Rozzi became Highland’s all-time scorer earlier this season, and she led the team with 24 points and pulled down 13 rebounds with a double-double Friday at home against Wallkill.
Highland led 10-0 with four minutes left in the first quarter and ended the game with a strong fourth quarter to beat the Panthers 50-36.
Rozzi is the only senior on the team, but she had the support against Wallkill the team will need next season after she graduates. Sophomore Adrianna Scalo helped with 11 points. Katie Dauenheimer, an eighth-grader, also scored 11 points as the Huskies improved 10-5.
“I just think it’s the learning curve for the young kids we have on the team,” said Jim Malak, Highland’s coach. “Next year, it’s pass the torch, and we all have to step up. They need to play in the off-season. If they don’t, it will be very, very difficult.”
Bri Cross led the Panthers with 14 points, and Emma Schwarzbeck helped with 9 points as Wallkill dropped to 8-8.
“That’s what I sort of planned on,” said A.J. Higby, Wallkill’s coach, of the team’s .500 record at this point. “We’re right there.”
The Panthers need two victories over five games or a single victory over Red Hook, a MHAL divisional leader as of the end of the January, to reach the sectional tournament. And Higby said the former scenario is a better bet for a postseason berth.
“Two wins,” he said.
After getting blown out by FDR and Saugerties, Wallkill came back to beat New Paltz and keep its season on course toward the postseason.
“We are OK,” said Higby. “We had a great win against New Paltz.”