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Briarcliff Dominates Fourth Quarter to Beat Rye

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – After pulling off the upset at Byram Hills last week, the Briarcliff Bears faced another test Tuesday against Rye, another quality Class A opponent.

They passed the test with a 68-53 victory.

“This was such a pivotal game for us because any team can play one good basketball game, and we kind of put one good game together at Byram,” Briarcliff coach Brendan Coxen said. “But to put two together and win two in a row, we’re getting kind of an identity, and we didn’t feel we had one up to this point.”

Rye led 31-27 at the half but Briarcliff controlled the third quarter to take a 47-42 lead. The Bears outscored the Garnets, 21-11, in the fourth quarter, and many of Rye’s points came in the final minute when the Bears had already secured the victory.

Senior Tyriek Johnson led the Bears with 22 points, while senior captain Kamal Logue led the Garnets with 16 points.

Briarcliff had dropped three of its first four games before its win at Byram Hills. The win against Rye, the second quality opponent in a row that Briarcliff has beaten, injected more optimism into the Bears’ locker room.

“It says pretty much that we’re pretty resilient and we believe in ourselves,” Coxen said. “I think early on, we didn’t because we got smacked around a little bit.”

Briarcliff now has a quick turnaround as they host Rye Neck on Thursday. But Coxen said his players will be ready.

“We had a week layoff, so they’re ready to play a couple of games in a row,” Coxen said. “I don’t think it’s going to be any issue with fatigue or focus. I think we’ll be ready to go and play.”

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