Horace Mann held off by Poly Prep

Horace Mann was in position to steal a big victory on the road only to see it get way in the closing minutes.

The Lions led most of the way on homecoming night at Poly Prep and tied the score with four minutes left to play in the contest. The Blue Devils executed better in the fourth quarter and exercised its advantage in the paint to hand Horace Mann an eventual 44-38 loss in Ivy League girls’ basketball last Friday night.

“We were in the game,” Lions coach Ray Barile said. “We were ready win.”

Blue Devils freshman forward Shanniah Wright scored a game-high 17 points and became to0 much hand in paint n the fourth quarter. Poly closed the game on an 8-2 run to claim the victory.

“It’s tough,” senior guard Jennifer Reiss said. “We were in it the whole time, 4:00 left we were tied. At the end we just weren’t able to finish.

The Lions played the final frame without starting forward Caroline Levy, who fouled out in the third quarter. Barile said a miscommunication between him and his assistant led to her being out there with four foals when she would have been on the bench. Levy’s absence opened the door for Wright to hurt Horace Mann inside. Poly began to score on second chance points.

“A lot of their points came on second chances in the fourth quarter,” Barile said.

Barile felt his team did a good job handling the Poly double teaming star freshman guard Jordan Nixon and player her a box and 1. Nixon scored 15 points and Reiss had 14. The Lions just couldn’t get the key points down the stretch.

“For the most part we were able get her the ball, even though they were face guarding her,” Reiss said.

The loss is Horace Mann’s second in league play, the other coming to favorite Dalton. That was Nixon’s very game back after missing time because she was sick, but was still not 100 percent. The defeats haven’t discouraged the team’s hopes of winning the Ivy League. The Lions have younger players looking to mesh with seniors. There is plenty of room for improvement moving forward.

Poly Prep 57, Horace Mann 17: Robert Gulub paced Horace Mann with 10 points. Najee Taylor led the Poly Prep boy’s basketball team wit eight points. David Dixon had six points and J.D. Levine chipped in four.

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