Greenwich Academy

Greenwich Academy basketball team qualifies for the FAA Tournament in season of marked improvement

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich Academy’s Ellie Burdick dribbles the ball up the court against Greens Farms Academy.

With three victories, all of which are league wins, the Greenwich Academy basketball team has experienced more success this winter than it did in its previous three seasons.

This season, Greenwich Academy has posted its first multiple win season since 2019 and has won more than one league game since the 2017 season. The Gators also won at home for the first time since 2018 and earned their first home league win since 2017. Soon, GA will compete in the FAA Tournament for the first time since 2019.

“We just really continue to grow,” Greenwich Academy coach Jordan Griffith said. “At the beginning of the year, we had some good performances, but we weren’t up to speed. But we have developed as the season has gone on. This is the first time we’ve had multiple wins in a number of years. The last time we made the FAA Tournament was 2019, so we’re excited about this.”

Greenwich Academy’s McKenna Brewer dribbles the ball past halfcourt against Greens Farms Academy.

Greenwich Academy has an overall record of 3-13, but sports a 3-5 mark in the FAA, with its victories coming against Masters School, Rye Country Day School and Hopkins School.

The Gators defeated Masters, 33-29, Rye Country Day School, 45-42 and Rye Country Day School, 45-42 to qualify for the FAA Tournament. Currently, GA stands in sixth place in the FAA, heading into Monday’s home game against Greenwich Country Day School, which is 2-4 in the league.

“I think we’ve definitely grown our mentality has gotten a lot better,” GA senior tri-captain/guard Maddie Azrak said. “I think we’ve improved a lot on our communication. We’re working together and our court awareness has improved. We like to focus on the little victories we get.”

In the Gators’ most recent win against Hopkins on the road, a 33-30 triumph, freshman Mirabel Rodgers scored 15 points, while the team was sparked by its seniors Ellie Johnson and Ellie Burdick, who also captain the squad.

Greenwich Academy senior Ellie Johnson, left plays defense against Greens Farms Academy.

“Ellie Johnson and Ellie Burdick will us to the win,” Griffith said of the Hopkins game. “Eighth-grader Eliana Price got some minutes and had two huge baskets to give us a seven-point lead at halftime. Our team continues to grow and we are super excited to now qualify for the playoffs. Our seniors have had such a journey with basketball and this is their reward for all their hard work and dedication.”

In the Gators’ 45-42 win over Rye Country Day, Rodgers poured in 17 points, while Johnson added nine and Burdick contributed seven points.

“The season has been beneficial to me and the team,” Rodgers said. “This is the first time we’ve had a winning streak in so long. The leadership is great and the captains have welcomed all the underclassmen and have helped make everyone become stronger players.”

Since defeating Hopkins on Feb. 4, GA dropped a one-sided game to Greens Farms Academy, 76-13, in a game that saw GFA make an eye-opening 11 3-pointers in the first half alone on Monday. Greenwich Academy then lost to Millbrook School in a competitive game, 42-33.

Greenwich Academy’s Ellie Burdick in action against Greens Farms Academy.

“I’m really proud of our team we have a lot of underclassmen who have stepped up and our coaches have made such an effort to make each individual player better,” Johnson said. “I’m proud of all the improvements we made.”

Said Burdick: “The team has improved so much from the start of the year. It’s taken a lot of hard work on the court off the court. As the season has gone on, we have gotten a lot more aggressive, which I attribute to coach and the drills he has put us through.”

“We are going to play hard as always these next few games and learn,” Rodgers said. “

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