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Game Reports-
1/19

White Plains vs. New Rochelle 1/17- Matt Grasso

    Today, in a Class A matchup, perennial powerhouse White Plains went on 
the road and took on their league rival  New Rochelle. New Rochelle enjoyed 
a spectacular week with an overtime win over Mount Vernon and a huge 
victory over White plains today. The game started out with New Rochelle jumping 
out to a huge lead behind strong interior play by Chris Green and Pete 
Cumberbatch and led 16-4 after the 1st quarter. This was my first time seeing Green play and he really impressed me. He has a great ability to put it on the 
floor and take it strong to the hole. Every player on New Rochelle got involved in 
their offense while they were in the game. White Plains had a tough time 
getting it going in this one. They only cut the lead by one point and trailed 
32-19 at the half. Coach Mayfield could not get them fired up unfortunately at 
the half. They struggled through the 3rd quarter and trailed 43-26 at the 
end of the period. White Plains made a few runs, but the closest they got was 
within 8 points. New Rochelle was victorious 62-50. Chris Green led all 
scorers with 23 points while Pete Cumberbatch chipped in 13 points for the hosts. 
Super sophomore Quentin Martin paced White Plains with 14 points. New 
Rochelle made a huge statement this week defeating the two powerhouses. Their 
victories also showed how wide open Class A is this year.

Panas vs. Scarsdale 1/17- Matt Grasso 

    Due to my attendance at the New Rochelle-White Plains game, I arrived at this contest at halftime. Panas had a 23-18 lead after two quarters. Edwin Minter paced them with 10 points in the first half. This kid has a really sweet shot. It really fell for him tonight. Edwin led all scorers with 22 points. Unfortunately for Panas, their highly coveted 7-footer Alexei Korolev had a difficult time getting into a rhythm tonight due to flu symptoms earlier in the game. Alexei has a solid scholarship offer on the table from Manhattan College. He was a non-factor on the interior tonight, and that was beneficial for Scarsdale's senior forward Mike Schwartz. Mike was very aggressive down low, and he had a great success in getting to the hoop in the second half. Panas held an 8-point lead heading into the 4th quarter after a half court shot fell for Mike Auerbach at the end of the 3rd period. They built the lead to as much as 11, but Scarsdale came fighting back behind Schwartz's play in the paint. He was 12 for 12 from the free throw line in the 4th quarter. The game was won at the charity stripe as Scarsdale made their foul shots, while Panas failed to do so. Scarsdale came out on top 51-45. Mike Schwartz scored 19 points for the victors. Panas continues their tough schedule next Saturday against Yorktown, and they play Kennedy in a make-up game on January 30th.

JFK Somers 77 vs. Greeley 74 (OT) 1/11- Matt Grasso

    Last night at Horace Greeley High School, Greeley hosted John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in the highly anticipated rematch of their first battle in which Greeley was victorious. This one did not disappoint at all. Greeley got out to an early ten point lead, but JFK came back to tie it at the end of the 1st quarter behind the solid play of Providence-bound Donnie Mcgrath and the sharp shooting of junior guard Phil Dibuono. Greeley has had a rough week or so due to their top player senior guard Chris Fleisher abruptly quitting the team for more attention to his academics. Senior forward  Brian Scordato has filled most of the scoring void left by Fleisher as he proved last night. He was dominant throughout the game down low as Kennedy could find no one down low. At one point, they even put Mcgrath on him to slow him down. That was effective for a little while, but other players on Greeley also stepped it up. Kennedy went into the half up by 4 points. Kennedy played extremely well in the 3rd quarter behind Mcgrath as they built and held onto a ten point lead. They went into the 4th quarter up by 8, but Greeley would not give up. They came back to tie it and take the lead by 5. They did this despite Scordato fouling out with a minute or so left in regulation. Mcgrath came down and hit a 3 to cut the lead to 2. Then a five second call on Greeley gave Kennedy an opportunity to tie it. Dave Wirth put up a 3 for the win. Fortunately for Kennedy, Colin Mckeon hit the put back at the buzzer to send it to OT. Even without Scordato, junior guard Sean O'Brian  came out and scored five straight points to give Greeley a five point lead to start off the overtime period. Kennedy came as close as 2 behind a couple of 3's by Mcgrath and Dibuono. However, Greeley held on for the 3-point victory. Greeley was led by Scordato's game high 36 points along with 17 from both Sean O'Brian and Sam Oher. Kennedy received 31 from Donnie Mcgrath and 18 from Phil Dibuono (five 3's) This was an outstanding game by both teams and they still have another matchup at the end of the month at Kennedy this time.

Peekskill 81 vs. Panas 51 1/11- Courtesy of Panas head coach Dave Greneir

    It was a game for about four minutes last night then Peekskill went on a 19-3 run midway through the first quarter led by Keith Staton's 7 pts, and Rashard Turner's 8. We (Panas) were able to cut there 26-9 first quarter lead to ten at the half(38-28) helped by Mike Auerbach's 13 2nd quarter points. Mike has turned himself into one of the top players in the section, he had Turner guarding him all night and he finished with a 18 pts. We were able to cut into the lead because we shooting in the bonus for most of the 2nd quarter. Peekskill came out in the 3rd with more of the same a relentless man to man full court press that forced a few turnovers but really just wore us down. Peekskill took a 60-35 lead into the fourth quarter As far as the much anticipated match up of big men I would have to say that my guy Alexei Korolev held his own (18 pts, 15 rbs,4 blks,) he even hit a tree from the top of the key with Hilton right in his face. Hilton played a strong game he only had eight points but he pulled down 14 rbs, along with 6 blocks and 5 assists. The difference as far as I am concerned was their guard play Staton was outstanding he was able to penetrate and that caused us major problems. Rashard Turner hit for 23 pts, while nobody said anything he looked under the weather. That kid is really a warrior, any school that gets him is really getting a kid the will come out and give 100% every night. We get them again on Feb. 6th , we obviously have some work to do they are a very scary team right now.

Christ the King vs. St. Raymond 1/8- Keith Mason
    This was a evenly  sloppy game on both sides of the ball. Both teams turned the ball over 22 times, missed 8 free throws and missed 41 shots as both teams shot under 36%. I'll pick up the action late in the 4th quarter with the score 52-50 St. Raymond leading. Christ the King had the ball trailing by 2 with seconds left on the clock when the ball landed in the hands of 6'6 PF Justin Marshall. Marshall was all the way out by 3 point lead, at first he hesitated to shoot then let loose and the shot was good sending the game into overtime. 5'10 SG Mitchell Beauford scored 4 of his team's first 6 points but it was when he found 6'5 SF Brian Williams under the basket for 2 the game was tied and was sent to a second overtime. The play that basically put the game away for Christ the King in the second overtime was when Marshall with nobody covering him pulled up for 3 and nailed it. St. Ray's couldn't regain the lead despite numerous opportunities. With the score 64-63 Beauford was fouled. He made 1 of 2giving the Raves a chance to tie or win. 5'9 PG Daon Merritt pushed the ball up court and found a wide open 6'3 SF Tariq Atkins in the corner for 3, but he could connect, allowing Christ the King to escape with the win. Mitchell Beauford scored 21 points to lead the Royals. 5'10 PG Japhet McNeil scored 15 but shot only 4-15 and handed out 6 assists, Eric Martin had his second straight solid game with 17 points and 6 rebounds. For St. Ray's  6'4 SF Louie McCroskey led the Ravens with 21 and added 10 rebounds but was held scoreless in the 2 overtimes. Atkins scored 17 and Merritt added 13. 

Molloy vs. Rice 1/8- Keith Mason

    Both teams came into this game ranked in the USA Today Poll, Rice was at 5 and Molloy was 6. So this was a game of not only of the 2 best teams in New York but 2 of the best teams in the country. Early on only one team got the point that they were one of the best teams in the country, and that was Molloy. The Stanners jumped out to a 20-4 lead which included three 3's from 6'3 SF Jamaal Wagner. Rice would answer back with a 9-0 run, started by a 6'0 SG Steve Burtt 3 and finished by 5'9 PG Keydren Clark 3. At the end of the first quarter Rice was right back in the game trailing 22-15. The 2nd quarter belonged to the Raiders, as they dominated Molloy outscoring them 33-19. After Clark connected on a 3 and was fouled Rice tied the game for the first time. After a Molloy basket 6'0 SG Kyle Dungo hit a 3 to give Rice their first lead of the game. But 6'2 SG Kevin Hamilton would answer right back with a 3 of his own, to put Molloy up 35-33. But Rice would storm back and with a dunk from 7'3 C Shagari Alleyne at the buzzer Rice was in control leading 48-41. The second half started out real rough for Molloy as they couldn't make a basket. Rice capitalized on this by starting the half on a 10-0 run to put them up 58-41. A free throw by Hamilton with 3:37 left in the 3rd would finally stop the bleeding for Molloy, but the lead was still 16 and Molloy had a long way to go. Molloy would go on a run at that point, at the end of the 3rd quarter 6'0 PG Marlon Smith nailed a 3 to bring Molloy within 9 at 62-53. After 6'2 SF Sundiata Gaines hit a free throw put  6'3 SF Christian Brown would hit back to back 3 pointers to put Rice back up by 14, and seemingly putting the game away. But Molloy had one more run left in them. Gaines scored back to back baskets forcing a Rice timeout with their lead now down to 6 at 72-66. After the timeout Clark came up big once again starting a 7-0 run with a 3 points play and finishing it with a layup that put the Raiders up 79-66 and put the game away. Rice won 91-70 but the game was much closer then that. Keydren Clark finished with a game high 25, 6'1 SG Kenny Eusey made several big defensive plays and baskets on his way to 13 points. Sophomore Sundiata Gaines came up big for Molloy as he put in 18 points, and gives Molloy great energy off the bench, which is needed considering he is really the only person that comes off the bench for the Stanners. Marlon Smith finished with 14 points, but I don't think he looked for his shot enough, he was much too passive in this game. If Molloy has any hope of beating Rice down the road he will need to be more aggressive. From watching the game it is clear that certain players on the team don't get along. You don't have to best friends off the court but when you step on the court you have to be able to put that behind you so you can win games.   

Rice vs. St. Raymond 1/5- Keith Mason

    The tone was set early as 7'3 C Shagari Alleyne scored 6 of Rice's first 10 points to give them a 10-5 lead. Rice would use Alleyne's initial dominance in the paint to jump out to a 20-11 lead at the end of 1. St. Ray's would make a run midway through the second quarter behind 5'9 PG Daon Merritt and 6'4 PF Brian Laing. When Merritt found 6'2 SG Tariq Atkins for a wide open 3 the lead was cut to 2. For Rice 5'9 G Keydren Clark would answer right back with a long 2 followed by a 3 from 6'3 SF Christian Brown to put Rice back up by 7, and basically putting the game away. Rice went into the locker room leading 40-29. St. Ray's shot themselves in the foot in the 3rd quarter as they missed 8 free throws 5 of them by Laing. The Raiders would open up a 20 point lead in the quarter behind, Clark, Brown, 6'0 SG Steve Burtt and 6'0 PG Jason Wingate. Each player connected on at least 1 three in the quarter, Clark and Burtt hit 2 each. Every time St. Ray's mad a little 4 or 5 point run Rice would come right back with a 4 or 5 point of their own. St. Ray's was never within single digits the entire second half. The final score of the game was 85-65. The person who impressed me the most on St. Ray's was Brian Laing. He went from the second best player on the freshman team last year to a starter on the varsity. He is a monster down low and was the leading rebounder in the game with about 15. He showed no fear of Shagari Alleyne taking it to him at every chance he got. 6'4 SF Louie McCroskey who had been St. Ray's leading scorer struggled against Rice but still finished with about 12. They needed a lot more from McCroskey in order to beat Rice. Atkins was nearly invisible besides a couple of 3's he made, and Merritt seemed to pass too much in my opinion. He tried to force a few passes that ended up in turnovers. He is a scorer and needs to look for his shot a little more, not look for it so much that he isn't getting his teammates involved. On the Rice side Steve Burtt has really improved over last year and could end up the teams leading scorer by the end of the year. Clark was off in the first half but he really helped put St. Ray's away with his long range shooting. Christian Brown showed me a lot with his improved outside shooting and gives them one more player who can hurt you on the perimeter. Wingate once again ran the point beautifully and scored when the opportunity was there. Alleyne was a presence down low, he blocked 7 shots but altered at least 20 more. These teams won't meet again until the playoffs if they meet again, but next time it will be a much more competitive game especially if 6'1 SG Allan Ray is on the court of St. Raymond.
    The JV game was a close game surprisingly, as St. Ray's entered the game 11-0 and Rice had been struggling all year. In the second and 3rd quarters 6'4 SF Ricky Torres  played great for St. Ray's. He didn't score too much but he rebounded well and showed great passing ability. Nobody else played to good for the Ravens. For the Rice Raider 6'2 SF Weymni Efejuko played extremely well. He almost single handily brought Rice back in to the game after they fell behind by double digits. But in the end he wasn't enough and St. Ray's held on for a 56-53 lead.
    The Freshman game was close in the first half but the second half so St. Ray's dominate. 5'11 PG Harry Cadell was the best player on the court, with his toughness and strength, he got to the basket at will. Rice never made a run at St. Ray's in the 4th. The reason was they continued to look for 5'9 SG Jarrell Mills and only Mills. For the first 3 quarters he couldn't hit a shot, despite that he still got the ball every time down court. He finally began hitting shots in the 4th quarter. But it was too little too late. If Rice doesn't start looking for somebody else when they get down it could be a long year. 

PSAL Brooklyn Winter Classic 1/5- Matt Grasso
Grady vs. Boys & Girls

    Today, I attended the Brooklyn PSAL Winter Classic at St. Francis College. The first of two games featured the Grady Falcons led by Hofstra-bound sharpshooter Quincy Douby against The Boys and Girls Kangaroos led by Amadou Fall. Boys and Girls got out to an early lead behind the strong play of both Fall and senior center Brian Franklin. They received great perimeter play from  freshman point guard Eugene Harvey. Boys & Girls sustained a ten point lead all the way through till the middle of the fourth quarter. Grady made a solid comeback behind Quincy Douby. He finished with a game high 31 points including the game winning shot. He nailed a three at the buzzer to give Grady a 61-58 victory.

Lincoln vs. Robeson 

    The anticipated matchup of the afternoon was a rematch of last year's PSAL semifinals between the Lincoln Railsplitters and the Robeson Eagles. Before I give a report of this game, I admit this was the first time I have ever watched a game end like this one did. Lincoln came out on fire behind their sophomore sensation Sebastian Telfair who was good for 13 points in the opening quarter giving them a 26-12 lead at the end of the period. They continued to pour it on behind junior transfer Karron Clarke and junior Jamal Dart. Robeson looked very slow and Lincoln got many easy baskets throughout the first half. At the half, Lincoln held an 18 point lead. The second half established extremely physical play from both teams which would extend till the end of the game. It seemed like any time Sebastian took it to the rack, he would get leveled by Robeson. There were 5 technical fouls called on the two teams, and a fight almost ensued which led to the ejection of a player from each team. Telfair received a technical foul for yelling at the officials from his bench. Each team was in the double bonus by the end of the third quarter. Lincoln held an 18 point lead at the start of the fourth and final period. However, Robeson finally made their run behind their leader Gary Irvin. He had been dormant for the 1st three quarters only putting up 10 points in that time. He got it going early in the fourth and got Robeson as close as four points from tying the game. He finished with a game-high 30 points in 29 minutes of play. The one thing that distinguishes this game occurred with Lincoln up 6 points and 3 minutes remaining in the ballgame. Sebastian was bringing it up and was called for an offensive foul which was his fifth foul eliminating him from the game. Coach Dwayne "Tiny" Morton was irate at the call and led his players off the court and therefore forfeiting the game (Note: Coach Morton was quoted in the paper as saying he didn't lead his team off the court because Telfair fouled out but because of the fight that broke out behind the Robeson bench he feared for the safety of his team). Lincoln was winning by 6 at the time and they automatically lost at that moment. Telfair finished with 21 points and 6 assists for Lincoln while Karron Clarke chipped in 10 points and 10 boards for the railsplitters. Ontea Gates knocked down four three pointers for the apparent victors. the final score was 70-64 in Lincoln's favor, but Robeson won it by forfeit. If they play each other down the road, it will be a hot ticket.

    

White Plaines vs. Yorktown 1/3- Matt Grasso

    Last night at Yorktown High School, the upstart Huskers hosted 
perennial section 1 powerhouse White Plains in a big time Class A matchup. This 
game was very low scoring throughout the first half with the score tied at 
the break. There were many lead changes and tie scores throughout the game. 
The biggest lead by either team through the first three quarters was five 
points. The difference maker in this matchup was the trapping press of White 
Plains in the fourth quarter. They built a ten point lead midway through the 
4th quarter due to Yorktown's inability to get the ball over half court. 
White Plains has always been a team known for its outstanding defense ,and 
they shined throughout this game. With under a minute left, Yorktown tied it 
up at 57 behind the strong interior play of their star forward Evan Markley 
and his 17 points in the contest. However, the Tigers took the lead right back 
behind a score from Jeff Lee. The Huskers were unable to tie when White plains 
stole the post pass to Markley with 2 seconds to go. Jeff Lee iced the game 
with a free throw and the game ended with a final score of 60-57. White Plains 
was led by senior guard Shonte Sasser and his game high 22 points. They 
also received 13 and 11 points respectively from Dino Dwyer and super 
sophomore Quentin Martin. Jamie Procino added 16 points for Yorktown, while Mike Castaldo chipped in 11 for the host team.

 

JFK Catholic vs. Horace Greeley 12/28- Matt Grasso

    Last night at the Yorktown Holiday Tournament, JFK Catholic High School squared off against Horace Greeley. The Gaels played strong as a team throughout the first half ending it with a 30-25 lead. Greeley came back in the second half to initiate many lead changes throughout the second half. The game was decided in the fourth quarter when Greeley persevered against Kennedy's tough zone defense with a final score of 66-61. Chris Fleisher and Brian Scordato paced Greeley with 18 and 15 points respectively. Kennedy got strong efforts from Phil Dibuono with 5 three pointers(15 points) Colin Mckeon with 12 and Providence-bound Donnie Mcgrath putting up a game high 22 points. This game was a preview for two more games between the two top tier section one later on this season

Christ the King vs. Rice 12/21- Keith Mason

   Friday's triple header between the Raiders of Rice and the Royals of Christ the King had two very exciting games. The varsity game was an exciting contest from start to finish. The big news of the game wasn't anyone who played in the game but it was who didn't play in the game, 6'3 SF Kelvin "Peedy" Nelson. From what I heard he could be done for the season. Christ the King came out strong despite missing their star player, they opened up an 18-10 lead behind point guard Japhet McNeil. But then Rice would make a run, behind 6'0 SG Steve Burtt and 6'0 PG Jason Wingate. Rice would go on a 14-4 run capped off by a follow up dunk from 7'2 C Shagari Alleyne. They would hold onto the lead for the rest of the half. Christ the King would come back to take the lead in the early in the 3rd quarter but then Shagari Alleyne took the game over. He scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, all 4 of his field goals in the half were dunks. Not only did he score he also made a couple of nice passes to his teammates cutting to the basket. Rice would end up winning the game 70-66 behind Alleyne and Burtt who finished with 14. The biggest problem for Christ the King was turnovers, their leading scorer, Japhet McNeil, scored 19 but also committed 10 turnovers. McNeil will have to improve on that if Christ the King is going to be a contender especially with Nelson out for a while. Besides Alleyne, hit teammate Steve Burtt impressed me a lot, he showed he can score easily, whether it be taken it to the basket or hitting the mid range jumper. On the Christ the King side, 6'6 Junior PF Justin Marshall showed me a lot. He proved he is one of the best shot blockers in the city and he hit a 17 foot jumper showing he has some range on his shot.
    Christ the King had an easy time with Rice in the JV contest they only won by 9, but they were up by 15+ for most of the second but a late 4th quarter run made the score respectable. 6'6 SF Brian Beckford was the most impressive player in this game. He showed he can run the floor, pass like a guard and score inside. His teammate 6'1 SG Tyshawn Bierria didn't really impress me. All he showed was he can score by taking a lot of shots, and he didn't really make a lot. Rice freshman beat Christ the King by 3. 5'8 SG Jarrell Mills hit a runner with about 30 seconds to go to put Rice up 42-41. He finished with about 18. 5'11 PG Chris Martin looked very hesitant for Christ the King and in the end it cost them, although he did hit a shot to put them up 41-40.