With all the long passes, hard hits and flying bodies, Monday's game between Suffern and Clarkstown North looked more like rugby than girls basketball.
In one of the most physical games of the season, the Mounties prevailed 39-33, despite scoring just two points in the first quarter.
"It was frustrating, to say the least," Suffern senior point guard Samantha Cimillo said. "As soon as you get thrown to the floor, it's personal."
Cimillo led all scorers with 15 points, all in the second half.
"There probably could have been a foul called on every possession," Suffern coach Bill Nolan said. "It was gritty, it was tough. It's a rivalry."
Nolan called a timeout with 1:52 left in the first quarter and his team trailing 5-0. The Mounties proceeded to go on a 12-0 run over the next nine minutes.
"I think it was a mixture of just being sloppy and not being patient offensively, and also (Clarkstown North's) guards did a great job pressuring the ball up top," Nolan said of the team's first-quarter struggles.
Clarkstown North was without sophomore Belle Jarrett, who was sidelined with a knee injury, and played most of the final quarter without senior captain Nicole Santamaria, who fouled out with six minutes left.
Sophomore Erin Ryder led the Rams with 10 points.
"This is definitely one of the top-two most physical games I've played in my life," Suffern junior forward Alexis Cohen said.
Cohen has missed most of the season with back injuries, which included three bulging discs and two herniated discs. Since her return on Jan. 14, Cohen has been playing with a back brace, which has limited her ability to shoot and get loose balls.
Monday was her first game without the brace.
Cohen, who scored eight points in the win, estimated that she is about 85 percent healthy.
"I played without (the brace) in practice because I had to work my way back," she said. "I've been used to having kind of a restriction from it, but overall I think it helped me by not wearing it."
Monday was Suffern's "Box Out Breast Cancer" game. It also was played in memory of Jami Erlich, a gym teacher at Suffern who was murdered in November 2009.
The team raised $535, which will go toward breast cancer awareness and the Jami Erlich Foundation.