SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Scarsdale’s Rachel Spiro faced a tall order Friday in the Raiders’ Section 1 girls basketball game with Mount Vernon – guard 6-foot-4 Lubirdia Gordon.
The 5-foot-7 Spiro countered Gordon’s height with quickness, as the senior gave the Raiders a lift in the third quarter that led to a 65-63 victory in a Section 1 Class AA matchup of top teams.
Spiro was all over the floor in the third quarter, diving for loose balls, battling Gordon for rebounds and deflecting passes, just to name a few things. She had three steals, two assists and two offensive rebounds in the quarter as Scarsdale maintained its lead.
“I wanted to win this game, and I was going to do everything I could to shut down the girl who is 8 inches taller than me,” Spiro said. “I had also missed a layup in the first quarter that made me angry, so I was going to put all of my anger into the remainder of the game and benefit the team.”
Scarsdale coach Mike Blanco said that Spiro has been playing out of position for three years, but that has not deterred her.
“Rachel used her quickness and defense to change the game for us in the third quarter,” Blanco said. “You can’t stop Lubirdia Gordon. She is an excellent player. Rachel fronted her and we had the weak-side help to help her.”
Abby McDonald, who finished with a team-high 22 points, scored seven points in the third quarter. That gave Scarsdale a 47-42 lead after three.
Spiro continued to ignite Scarsdale in the fourth quarter with her defensive energy. She also stepped up offensively, swishing a 3-pointer from the wing and dropping a 19-footer beyond the foul line.
“It was very big for me, because I don’t usually make as many shots as I would like,” Spiro said with a laugh. “It was good to know that all of the hard work on defense paid off for me on offense.”
Rachel Cohen added 19 points for Scarsdale and Shelby Zucker finished with eight points and six assists.
Gordon paced Mount Vernon with a game-high 35 points and 16 rebounds.